Viettel doubles pre-tax profits in Burundi

March 27, 2019 | 06:00 pm PT
Lumitel, Viettel’s mobile service in Burundi in Africa, reported pre-tax profit more than doubled last year.

At $7.3 million, it was up 225 percent against 2017, Viettel Burundi announced on its fourth anniversary.

The number of subscribers increased by 278,000 last year, the highest rate in the last three years and for a third straight year making up 70 percent of all new subscribers in Burundi.

In Burundi, it took Viettel just seven months to become the biggest player and three months to break even, both the fastest for the company in any of its 10 overseas markets.


In Burundi, it took Viettel just three months to break even.

Viettel Burundi had earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) up to 54 percent, ranking the second among Viettel's 10 overseas markets.

Lumitel accounted for 54 percent of Burundi's telecom market share, taking the lead position in this country.

Burundi market has the best urban subscription rate in Africa with 39 percent of the total number of subscribers. Despite poverty, Lumitel's rate of subscribers with Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) of more than $5 per month is up to 34.6 percent of total subscribers, ranking the highest among Viettel's African markets.

Burundi is also the first overseas market of Viettel to offer unlimited internal messaging package with feature phone, which costs equivalent to only VND500 (2 cents) per day.


Lumicash e-wallet leads the electronic payment market of Burundi.

In 2018, Lumicash, e-wallet by Lumitel, reported an increase by 4 times in the number of new subscribers. The total number of Lumicash customers has been up to 320,000 since officially launching in 2016, accounting for 47 percent of the e-wallet market share in Burundi. Lumicash is now profitable.

According to Nguyen Huy Tan, general director of Lumitel, Viettel's services are aiming at offering cheap prices and optimal operation to meet the local demand.

"For example, Lumicash e-wallet service enables Burundian to pay taxes, fees and charges, electricity and water bills, etc...via mobile phones, thanks to tailor-made features on USSD platform with 2G network", he added.


Nguyen Huy Tan, Viettel Burundi CEO.

"Lumitel is not only targeting revenue but also contributing to promoting socio-economic development. We hope to enhance the two countries' relationship, creating a beautiful image of Vietnam in this country", said Tan. 

In 2019, Lumitel has set the goal to lead in digital services, transmission channels and digital payment.

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