Airtel Africa‘s revenue grew by 14.2 per cent to USD 3.91 billion in Q1 2021 across all its regions with East Africa leading with 23.5 per cent, Nigeria with 21.9 per cent while Francophone Africa accumulated 10 per cent revenue growth.
Airtel attributes its growth to to its underlying constant currency revenue and currency devaluations. Revenue for voice also rose by 11 per cent while data revenues grew by 31.2 per cent and mobile money by 35.5 per cent respectively.
Through the tax period, the francophone region in particular recorded the highest improvement across major services with mobile money, data and voice posting double revenue growth.
Airtel’s customer base also grew by 6.9 per cent to 118.2 million, with increased penetration across mobile data with a customer base up 14.5 per cent and mobile money services with a customer base up 18.5 per cent.
However, the recent slowdown in customer base growth has been due to new SIM registration regulations in Nigeria in the last quarter and restrictions that were lifted in the second half of April.
Raghunath Mandava, chief executive officer Airtel Africa, said “In these challenging times want to say a huge thank you to all our employees, our business partners, and governments and regulators who have supported us, and in turn facilitated our continued support to the economies and communities we serve.
“Our performance has been strong, with reported growth of 13.6 per cent in underlying revenue and 18.3 per cent in underlying EBITDA, and constant currency growth of 19.4 per cent and 25.2 per cent respectively.
Airtel’s operating profit also increased by 24.2 per cent to $1,119m in reported currency and by 32.8 per cent in the constant currency for the period. The company seeks to establish minority partnerships in the future with RiseFund and Mastercard in agreed transactions which value its business at $2.65bn, as well as bringing $300m into the Group including selling tower portfolio to yield more cash for the business.