Airtel Africa Records $89m Loss After Tax, $1bn FX Loss, 152.7m Customer Base

0
7

Airtel Africa Records $89m Loss After Tax, $1bn FX Loss, 152.7m Customer Base

CHIGOZIE AMADI

Airtel Africa, yesterday, released its financial report for the year ended 31 March 2024, recording $89 million loss after tax as well as effective FX loss in Nigerian market to the tune of S1 billion.
The telecoms operator, which has presence in 14 African countries, however recorded 152.7 million customers, during the financial year.
According financial statement, Airtel Africa delivered a resilient performance with strong underlying momentum, despite a volatile macro-economic environment operating highlights.
Total customer base grew by 9.0 per cent to 152.7 million, with a 17.8 per cent increase in data customers to 64.4 million and a 20.8 per cent increase in data usage per customer.

According to the financial report, it recorded mobile money subscriber growth of 20.7 per cent, which reflects its continued investment into distribution to drive increased financial inclusion across our markets.
It also recorded a transaction value increase of 38.2 per cent in constant currency with annual transaction value of over $112 billion in reported currency. Increased transactions across the ecosystem reflects the enhanced range of offerings and increased customer adoption, supporting constant currency ARPU growth of 8.6 per cent.

The reported currency revenues however, declined by 5.3 per cent to $4,979 million reflecting the impact of currency devaluation, particularly in Nigeria.
Across the group mobile services revenue grew by 19.4 per cent in constant currency, driven by voice revenue growth of 11.9 per cent and data revenue growth of 29.2 per cent. Mobile Money revenue grew by 32.8 per cent in constant currency, with a continued strong performance in East Africa.
The financial report said EBITDA margins remained resilient at 48.8 per cent despite the currency headwinds and inflationary pressure on our cost base. Constant currency EBITDA increased 21.3 per cent with reported currency EBITDA declining 5.7 per cent to $2,428 millio. Q4 2024.
EBITDA margins of 46.5 per cent were impacted by the lower contribution of Nigeria following the Q4’24 naira devaluation and rising energy costs across a number of markets.

The loss after tax was $89 million, primarily impacted by significant foreign exchange headwinds, resulting in a $549 million exceptional loss net of tax following the Nigerian naira devaluation in June 2023 and Q4’24, and the Malawian kwacha devaluation in November 2023.
Commenting on the trading update, the Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Africa, Olusegun Ogunsanya, said: “The consistent deployment of our ‘Win with’ strategy supported the acceleration in constant currency revenue growth over the recent quarters which has reduced the impact of currency headwinds faced across most of our markets. This strong revenue performance is a reflection not only of the opportunity that is inherent across our markets, but also the resilience of our affordable offerings despite the inflationary pressure many of our customers have experienced.

“Facilitating this growth has been, and will remain, fundamental to our performance. The investment in our distribution to catalyse growth, and the technology required to support this growth has been key. Furthermore, our rigorous approach to de-risking our balance sheet and our capital allocation priorities has materially reduced the risks that the currency de- valuation has had on our business. Key initiatives include the reduction of US dollar debt across the business and the ac- cumulation of cash at the HoldCo level to fully cover the outstanding debt due. We will continue to focus on reducing our exposure to currency volatility. At the beginning of March, we launched our first buyback programme reflecting the strength of our financial position.
“The growth opportunity that exists across our markets remains compelling, and we are well positioned to deliver against this opportunity. We will continue to focus on margin improvement from the recent level as we progress through the year.”

He thanked customers, partners, governments and regulators for their support, including employees for their unrelenting contribution to the business, adding that Airtel will continue to transform lives across Africa.