Airtel Africa announces its financial performance in Africa

Airtel africaThe telecom operator reports strong growth across all key metrics, with Nigeria PSB approval in principle to unlock further mobile money opportunity

The company reported revenue grew by 21.7% to US$3,492mn. Constant currency underlying revenue grew by 24.8% and was recorded across all regions: Nigeria up 29.0%, East Africa up 24.4% and Francophone Africa up 19.0%; and across all key services, with revenue in voice up 16.1%, and in data and mobile money both up 37.2%. Underlying earnings before interest taxes depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was US$1,703mn, growing by 31.3% in reported currency with an EBITDA margin of 48.8%, an increase of 326 basis points led by both revenue growth and improved operational efficiencies. 

Airtel also said its operating profit grew by 43.1% to US$1,146mn in reported currency. The company’s profit after tax almost doubled to US$514mn as higher profit before tax more than offset associated tax charges. Basic earnings per share (EPS) was recorded at US$11.7 cents, an increase of 113.8%, largely as a result of higher profit. EPS before exceptional items increased to US$11.5 cents, up from US$5.0 cents in the previous period.

The telecom operator’s operating free cash flow grew by 42.2% to US$1,271mn and net cash generated from operating activities was up 23.1% to US$1,499mn.

More significantly, Airtel Africa’s user base expanded to 125.8 million, growing by 5.8%, with increased penetration across mobile data (customer base up 11.1%) and mobile money services (customer base up 19.6%). Customer base growth was affected by the NIN/SIM regulations in Nigeria but returned to growth in this region in the third quarter; excluding Nigeria, the customer base grew by 12.0%.

Segun Ogunsanya, CEO, Airtel Africa plc, said, “Operationally we have continued to execute on our network and distribution expansion plans, driving continued strong growth in ARPUs across voice, data and mobile money. We have also seen further improvement in our customer growth trends for the Group with Nigeria returning to strong customer growth after a period affected by the implementation of new ‘know your customer requirements, posting 1.9 million net additions in the third quarter, taking total Group customer additions to 3.1 million." 

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