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Airtel Africa Half-Year Report: 147.7M Customer Base,19.7% Growth in Constant Currency Terms and More

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Airtel Africa plc has released its performance report for the first half of 2023, demonstrating robust growth and resilience across all its operational regions, despite facing foreign exchange challenges, especially in Nigeria.

One of the standout achievements in the report is the impressive growth in Airtel’s customer base, which increased by 9.7% to reach 147.7 million customers.

This expansion is primarily attributed to the continued adoption of mobile data and mobile money services.

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Data customers increased by 23.0% to 59.8 million, while mobile money customers grew by 23.1% to 36.5 million.

In terms of revenue, Airtel saw a 19.7% growth in constant currency terms. However, when converted to reported currency, the increase was 2.3%, totalling $2,623 million.

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Notably, the devaluation of the Nigerian naira in June 2023 had a noticeable impact on Q2’24 revenues, causing a decline of 4.7%.

Despite the currency headwinds, Airtel demonstrated strong growth in all segments: “Mobile services revenue grew by 18.3% in constant currency, driven by an 11.5% increase in voice revenue and a significant 28.1% growth in data revenue. Mobile money, a key pillar of Airtel’s strategy, experienced a 30.9% surge in constant currency terms.”

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The EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization) increased by 21.2% in constant currency and 3.7% in reported currency, reaching $1,302 million.

The EBITDA margin improved to 49.6%, reflecting a 70 basis point increase over the previous period, despite inflationary cost pressures. However, the devaluation of the Nigerian naira resulted in a reported after-tax loss of $13 million, primarily due to a significant foreign exchange loss of $471 million.

Airtel’s capital allocation strategy remains forward-looking, with an increased Capex of $312 million compared to the previous period.

The company says it intends to invest between $800 million and $825 million by the end of the year, emphasizing its commitment to future growth.

In terms of sustainability, Airtel Africa is aligning with global goals and has entered into a five-year, $57 million partnership with UNICEF.

This partnership aims to provide free access to educational resources, to reach one million children through their programs by 2027.

Airtel is also dedicated to its net-zero journey, focusing on emissions reduction and stakeholder engagement strategies.

Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Airtel Africa, Olusegun Ogunsanya, expressed his satisfaction with the results, highlighting the consistent growth in voice, data, and mobile money services across their operational regions.

Despite the challenges posed by the devaluation of the Nigerian naira, Ogunsanya remains optimistic about the company’s future, emphasizing Airtel’s commitment to providing affordable and reliable telecom and mobile money services while strengthening its position in the market.

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Diana Mutheu
Diana Mutheu
Diana Mutheu is a Tech enthusiast, happy to delve deeper into the African tech space covering Social Media, AI, Startups, Telcos, Cryptocurrency, Big Data, Women in Tech and all matters Tech. Write to me @[email protected]

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