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Airtel continues to see huge potential across voice, data, mobile money

Airtel Nigeria partners smartphone brands to drive 5G connectivity

Airtel Africa Plc said it continues to see huge potential across voice, data and mobile money due to the low penetration levels in Africa. Raghunath Mandava, chief executive officer, Airtel Africa Plc said the second largest telecoms company in Nigeria continues to partner the nations in bridging the digital divide and enhancing financial inclusion.

Mandava while commenting on the company’s results for quarter ended June 30, 2021 said, “Our continued focus on modernisation and rollout of our network, along with simplifying our products and improving our distribution, have all helped us to make handsome gains on our Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) across voice, data and mobile money.

“Our robust operating model and solid execution should enable us to continue our profitable growth. We remain committed to continue to efficiently and effectively deliver services that help to improve the lives, communities and economies we serve.”

“Q1’22 Reported revenue grew by 30.7percent to $1,112million, with constant currency growth of 33.1percent. Revenue growth partially benefitted from a weakened quarter in the prior year during the peak of Covid-19 restrictions across the region. Even after adjusting for these effects, revenue growth rates for the Group, service segments and reporting regions were all ahead of Q4’21 trends.

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“Strong revenue growth was recorded across all regions: Nigeria up 38.2percent, East Africa up 32.8percent and Francophone Africa up 24.9percent; and across key services, with revenues for voice up 26percent, data up 37.4percent and mobile money up 53.7percent.

“Underlying EBITDA grew by 42.4percent to $534million in reported currency, while constant currency growth was 46.2percent. Underlying EBITDA margin was 48 percent, an increase of 396 basis points (increase of 428 basis points in constant currency) led by both revenue growth and improved operational efficiencies. Operating profit was $352million, up 67.6percent in reported currency and 73.9percent in constant currency.

“Profit after tax more than doubled to $142million, up 148.7percent, largely due to the higher operating profits along with stable net finance costs which more than offset the increase in tax charges due to increased profits. Basic EPS was 3.3 cents, an increase of 200percent, as a result of higher profit and stable finance costs and foreign exchange. EPS before exceptional items was 3.2 cents.

“Operating free cash flow (underlying EBITDA less capex) was $428million, up 38.7percent. Customer base grew by 8.4percent to 120.8 million, with increased penetration across mobile data (customer base up 14.8percent) and mobile money services (customer base up 24.6percent). The slowdown in customer base growth was due to new SIM registration regulationsin Nigeria; excluding Nigeria the customer base grew by 15.9percent”.

“Our Q1’22 results have been very strong, with reported growth of 30.7percent in revenue and 42.4percent in underlying EBITDA, with constant currency growth of 33.1percent and 46.2percent respectively. Q1 of last year was impacted by the start of Covid, but even after adjusting for these effects, our Q1’22 revenue growth rates for the Group, service segments and reporting regions were all ahead of Q4’21 trends.

“We have posted strong double-digit growth across voice (26percent), data (37.4percent) and mobile money (53.7percent), and across all our regions. Sub-Saharan Africa is now experiencing a third wave of the pandemic. Governments are implementing balanced measures of lockdowns and restrictions. But vaccinations levels remain very low. In these challenging times our business model has so far proven resilient, but we continue to monitor the situation closely for the potential impact on local economies and consumers”, Airtel Africa Plc.

“Our total customer base has returned to growth with acceleration in our East Africa and Francophone regions and despite continuing negative net additions in Nigeria. With the easing of these restrictions in late April we have since been able to gradually increase locations for activations in line with regulatory compliance across Nigeria, and we have begun adding new customers”.