Airtel Africa Hits 151 Million Subscribers, Records 9.1 Percent Growth In Customer Base
Airtel Africa, a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel has announced its results for the nine-month period ending December 31, 2023.
During this period, Airtel Africa witnessed a 9.1 percent increase in its total customer base, reaching 151.2 million. The company reported growth in both mobile data and mobile money services, with data customers increasing by 22.4 percent to 62.7 million and mobile money customers by 19.5 percent to 37.5 million.
Driven by increased usage across all segments, the company reported a 10.0 percent growth in constant currency Average Revenue Per User (ARPU). Additionally, mobile money transaction value surged by 41.3 percent in constant currency, reaching an annualised transaction value of USD 116 billion in reported currency.
In its earning statement, Airtel Africa noted “Profit after tax was USD 2 million in the (nine-month) period, primarily impacted by significant foreign exchange headwinds, particularly the USD 330m exceptional loss after tax following the devaluation of the Nigerian naira in June 2023 and the Malawian kwacha in November 2023 after the structural changes in their respective FX markets.
“The Nigerian naira devalued further in Q3’24, resulting in a USD 140m derivative and foreign exchange losses net of tax, which is not treated as an exceptional item.”
The Group chief executive officer of Airtel Africa, Olusegun Ogunsanya said: “we remain focussed on the execution of our growth strategy and, combined with our strong operational execution, this has ensured that we continue to see sustained, positive growth momentum across the business, despite the inflationary and currency headwinds.
“Demand remains resilient, highlighting the vital nature of the voice, data and mobile money services we provide to our customers across the region, and has resulted in a strong 20.2 per cent constant currency revenue growth over the period, with an increase in EBITDA margins.”
According to Ogunsanya, “We continue to be well positioned to deliver on the attractive growth opportunities our markets offer and despite the challenge of rising diesel prices, ongoing currency devaluation and inflationary pressures across some of our markets, we remain focussed on margin resilience.”
Profit before tax for the third quarter ended December 31 was USD 43 million compared with USD 285 million for the same period a year earlier. Revenue for the quarter fell to USD 1.24 billion from USD 1.35 billion.
Within this voice revenue fell 16.8 percent to USD 538 million while data revenue fell 5.9 percent to USD 428 million. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation slipped to USD 606 million compared with USD 661 million.
However, In Q3’24, Airtel Africa reported revenues declined by 8.3 percent due to currency devaluation, primarily driven by the devaluation of the Nigerian naira.