Airtel Africa PLC - Africa-focused telecommunications firm - Confirms that subsidiary Bharti Airtel International (Netherlands) BV has fully repaid a USD550 million bond in 5.35% guaranteed senior notes maturing on Monday. Says repayment was exclusively through holding company (HoldCo) cash reserves, "and is a continuation of its strategy to reduce external foreign currency debt". Airtel says it had USD2.72 billion of external debt at HoldCo "which resulted in significant exposure to currency fluctuations and the reliance on upstreaming funds to cover both interest costs and the principal repayment".

Airtel Africa says: "Through a consistent execution of its strategy supporting strong free cash flow generation, and continued upstreaming success, the group has been reducing HoldCo debt over the past few years and has now reached the significant milestone of a zero-debt position at HoldCo."

Current stock price: 120.44 pence, up 1.0% on Monday afternoon in London

12-month change: up 3.6%

By Emma Curzon, Alliance News reporter

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