The avalanche mobile money services spreading across Africa and indeed Nigeria have begun to yield results for the mobile network operators as latest financial report of Airtel Africa released today, Saturday, July 30, showed an impressive performance among the group with Airtel Nigeria topping the revenue table.
The report revealed that total revenues, for mobile services and mobile money services combined, grew in Nigeria by 18.3%, in East Africa by 14.1% and in Francophone Africa by 11.7%.
According to the report, revenue growth in constant currency was posted across all four reporting segments.
Mobile Services revenue in Nigeria grew by 18.3%, in East Africa by 11.1% and in Francophone Africa by 10.6% (and across the Group by 14.2%, with voice revenue up by 11.3% and data revenue up by 19.8%).
Mobile Money revenue grew by 26.5%, driven by growth of 26.9% in East Africa and 25.4% in Francophone Africa.
Announcing the financial result for the quarter ended 30 June 2022, Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Africa, Mr Segun Ogunsanya, noted that
the Group has continued to post double-digit revenue growth, margin improvement and strong earnings growth.
“I am also particularly pleased with our ongoing strengthening of the balance sheet which continued after the period ended, with early repayment of $450m of debt at Group level”, he said.
According to him, EBITDA grew by 14.9% to $614m in reported currency while EBITDA margin was 48.8%, an increase of 78 basis points in reported currency and 52 basis points in constant currency.
The red-colour mobile brand operator said its operating profit grew by 20.6% to $425m in reported currency while profit after tax grew by 25.3% to $178m.
The company also had a good outing on its total customer base as it increased to 131.6 million, up 8.9%, with increased penetration across mobile data (customer base up 9.7%) and mobile money services (customer base up 19.7%).
Airtel Africa also had an impressive cash management result as stated in the result, which showed that operating free cash flow grew by 10.3% to $473m, while net cash generated from operating activities reduced by 13.2% to $388m, mainly due to increased cash tax payments from both higher taxes on declared dividends and increased taxable profits.
Ogunsanya said: “As we flagged in our full year announcement, this quarter we have faced headwinds from outbound voice call barring for customers who had not yet registered their National Identification Numbers in Nigeria and the loss of site sharing revenue in those OpCos where we recently sold towers. Inflation is also having an impact on our cost base, particularly on energy costs, but our continued efficiency drives have ensured that we have still been able to increase our margins, albeit at a slightly slower rate.”
He stated further: “After receiving the Payment Service Bank licence in Nigeria just a few months ago, it is a testament to our prior preparation that we have already managed to launch our mobile money operations in a few select locations without any operational issues.
“We are excited by the commercial developments and opportunities here. We also continued to invest for growth and have made a couple of major additional spectrum acquisitions recently in the DRC and Kenya in anticipation of continued strong data demand growth in these markets.”
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