Airtel Africa has released its half year financial results for the period ending September 30, 2020 which indicate that its customer base grew by 12.0% during this period, rising to 116.4 million.
Overall revenue on reported basis increased by 10.7% to $1.815 billion, with second quarter revenue growth of 14.3%. The revenue growth in constant currency was 16.4% in the first half of the year, and 19.6% in the second quarter.
(TOP: Raghunath Mandava, CEO, Airtel Africa).
Airtel recorded growth across all the regions where it operates – with Nigeria up by 20.2%; East Africa up by 21.9% and Francophone Africa up 4.4% – while in the services segment, the voice revenue grew by 7.0%; data rose by 33.4% and mobile money had an increase of 30.4%.
Operating profit increased by 19.5% to $472 million, an increase of 28.3% in constant currency, while free cash flow was $319 million compared to $210 million in the same period last year.
Commenting on the trading update, Raghunath Mandava, CEO, Airtel Africa, said: “The first half of our fiscal year included the peak impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the countries where we operate, as lockdown measures were swiftly implemented to stem the initial spread of contagion. In these unprecedented times, the telecoms industry has emerged as a key and essential service for these economies, allowing customers to work remotely, reduce their travels, keep them connected and allow access to affordable entertainment. In these exceptional circumstances, in the first half, we delivered a strong set of results and as lockdown restrictions eased during the second quarter, our performance continued to improve with constant currency revenue growth of 19.6%, up 6.6% from the prior quarter.
Importantly, the fundamentals of our business remain strong and revenue growth further benefitted from the execution of our strategy with a specific focus on expanding distribution in the rural areas, investing in our network and increasing 4G coverage, as well as benefitting from the fact we provide an essential service to consumers. In Q2, performance in our mobile money business also significantly improved with constant currency revenue growth of 33.9%, up 8% from prior quarter, as lockdown restrictions were eased and fees on certain transactions, which had been previously waived, were largely reintroduced. We also continued to enter new partnerships with leading institutions such as WorldRemit, MoneyGram, Standard Chartered Bank, and Mukuru to increase use cases and improve customers’ access to digital payments and financial services.
We remain alert to the potential for further disruptions from a second wave of COVID-19 across Africa, and the associated actions of governments to minimise contagion. Nevertheless, we are in a strong financial position to capture the opportunities in a fast-growing region that is vastly underpenetrated in terms of mobile and banking services. We remain confident of delivering long term sustained growth for our shareholders.”
Airtel has operations in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Rwanda, DRC, Gabon, Congo Brazzaville, Zambia, Malawi, Madagascar, and Seychelles.
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