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Business News of Thursday, 12 May 2022


Airtel Africa’s full-year profit up 82% as revenue hits $4.7 billion

Airtel Africa Airtel Africa

Airtel Africa’s net profit for the year ended March 31 soared by more than four-fifths on the back of increased revenue, according to the wireless operator’s financial report for the period.

Turnover leapt by 23.3 per cent to $4.7 billion from a year earlier, with receiving a boost from earnings from data as well as mobile money.

The telco highlighted marked improvement in constant currency underlying revenue in all the regions of its operation (Nigeria, East Africa and Francophone Africa) as a key factor aiding the growth.

London-listed Airtel Africa, which entered the FTSE 100 Index in January, won the Central Bank of Nigeria’s full approval in April to operate a payments service bank in Nigeria.

Profit before tax stood at $1.2 billion, rising 75.6 per cent over what was posted a year ago, while after-tax profit scaled up to $755 million. That compares with the $415 million reported for financial year 2020, implying an 82 per cent increase.

“We have successfully executed on a number of strategic initiatives in the year, with tower sales completed in four countries, $550m of minority investments secured for our mobile money business and a successful buyout of minorities in our Nigerian operation,” said CEO Segun Ogunsanya.

“While the fundamentals of our six-pillar growth strategy remain unchanged, we are looking to accelerate our performance through a greater focus on digitalisation and we have underpinned our strategic pillars with our sustainability ambition.”

Airtel Africa’s mobile money drive attracted investment from a number of private equity investors last year including Mastercard, TPG, Chimera Investment LLC and Qatar Investment Authority. The company’s mobile money business is currently valued at $2.65 billion on a cash and debt free basis.

For the review period, profit margin, which measures how much of revenue has turned to profit, was 16 per cent. It was 10.6 per cent a year earlier.

Nigeria is the mobile telephone group’s largest market.