.Nigeria contributes 40%
Bouyed by its Nigerian operation, telecommunications group, Airtel Africa, grew its services revenue to $1.1 billion in its financial first quarter ended June 30, 2021. According to the financial results released today, this represents a 30.7 per cent growth compared to $851 million it recorded in the same period last year.
Airtel Nigeria, which is one of the 14 operations of the telecommunications group, accounted for 40 per cent of the group’s earnings, as its revenue for the year jumped to $445 million from $341 million recorded in the sam period last year. This represents a 30.5 per cent growth in the company’s revenue.
Aside from the Nigerian operation, Airtel said it recorded strong revenue growth across all regions including 32.8 per cent growth from East Africa; and 24.9 per cent growth from Francophone Africa. Growth was also recorded across services as the group’s voice revenue went up by 26 per cent, data up by 37.4 per cent, while mobile money revenue grew by 53.7 per cent.
Commenting on the results, the Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Africa, Raghunath Mandava, said: “Our Q1’22 results have been very strong, with reported growth of 30.7 per cent in revenue and 42.4 per cent in underlying EBITDA, with constant currency growth of 33.1 per cent and 46.2 per cent respectively.”
According to him, Q1 of last year was impacted by the start of COVID-19, “but even after adjusting for these effects, our Q1’22 revenue growth rates for the Group, service segments and reporting regions were all ahead of Q4’21 trends.”
“We have posted strong double-digit growth across voice (26.0%), data (37.4%) and mobile money (53.7%), and across all our regions,” he said.
While noting that Sub-Saharan Africa is now experiencing a third wave of the pandemic, Mandava said governments are implementing balanced measures of lockdowns and restrictions. He, however, expressed concern that vaccinations levels has remained very low on the continent.
“In these challenging times, our business model has so far proven resilient, but we continue to monitor the situation closely for the potential impact on local economies and consumers. Our total customer base has returned to growth with acceleration in our East Africa and Francophone regions and despite continuing negative net additions in Nigeria.
“With the easing of these restrictions in late April we have since been able to gradually increase locations for activations in line with regulatory compliance across Nigeria, and we have begun adding new customers.
“Our continued focus on modernisation and rollout of our network, along with simplifying our products and improving our distribution, have all helped us to make handsome gains on our Average Revenue Per Users (ARPUs) across voice, data, and mobile money. Our robust operating model and solid execution should enable us to continue our profitable growth,” he said.
The Airtel CEO added that the company is seeing huge potential across voice, data, and mobile money due to the low penetration levels in Africa, as it continues to partner with the nations in bridging the digital divide and enhancing financial inclusion. He said the company remains committed to delivering services that help to improve the lives, communities, and economies it serves.