Airtel Nigeria has led the Group’s regional growth by 27.7% while East Africa and the Francophone Africa region trail behind Nigeria by 22.7% and 17.2% respectively.
Airtel Africa Plc results for the year ended 31 March 2022 released by the Group attributed its revenue growth to data and mobile money.
According to the report, constant currency underlying revenue growth was strong in all regions: Nigeria up 27.7%, East Africa up 22.7% and Francophone Africa up 17.2%; and across all key services, with revenue in Voice up 15.4%, Data up 34.6% and Mobile Money up 34.9%.
The company reported a revenue growth of 20.6% for the year, to $4,714m, and 17.8% for Q4 and operating free cash flow of $1,655m, which was up by 40.5%, with net cash generated from operating activities up 20.7% to $2,011m.
The reported a customer base of 128.4 million, up 8.7%, with increased penetration across mobile data (customer base up 15.2%) and mobile money services (customer base up 20.7%).
It however noted that NIN/SIM regulations in Nigeria impacted customer growth in half quarter but then returned to strong growth, adding 4 foru million customers in Nigeria during the half quarter of 2022.
Commenting on the report, Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Airtel Africa Mr Segun Ogunsanya said, “This is another strong set of results for Airtel Africa, demonstrating our solid execution as we continue to enrich the lives of a growing number of people through leveraging the sizeable opportunity to promote digital and financial inclusion across our markets.”
According to him, the company delivered strong double-digit growth in revenues across all regions and all key services, with improving margins driven by strong cost control, and expanding cash generation which is enabling continuous investment in network and services and expanding distribution, as well as strengthening her balance sheet and increasing returns to shareholders.
“We are connecting more customers in new and existing coverage areas and driving usage levels and ARPUs to new highs.
“We have successfully executed several 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. Our receipt last month of a full PSB licence in Nigeria will help us to accelerate financial inclusion in the territory and drive our mobile money business even faster.
“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.
“I am particularly proud of the progress we have made in articulating our sustainability strategy this year as well as the partnership we announced with UNICEF to help drive and support educational programmes in our territories. I very much look forward to us publishing both our pathway to net zero and our first full sustainability report later in the year.
“Turning to the outlook, long-term opportunities for us remain attractive. While mindful of currency devaluation and repatriation risks, we continue to work actively to mitigate all our material risks and to deliver value for all our stakeholders. There are increasing challenges from global inflationary pressures, but we continue to target revenue growth ahead of the market and moderate margin expansion.”