By Chinwendu Obienyi
Airtel Africa Plc has announced that it recorded 30.7 per cent growth in revenue which rose to $1.112 million in the first quarter (Q1) of 2022 from $851 million in Q1 2021.
The company in its recently released unaudited results for quarter ended 30 June 2021 revealed that its customer base grew by 8.4 per cent to 120.8 million with increased penetration across mobile data (customer base up 14.8 per cent) and mobile money services (customer base up 24.6 per cent).
According to the company, the slowdown in customer base growth was due to new SIM registration regulations in Nigeria while adding that excluding Nigeria, the customer base grew by 15.9 per cent.
Further analysis of the results showed that the company’s profit after tax (PAT) more than doubled to $142 million, up 148.7 per cent, largely due to the higher operating profits along with stable net finance costs which more than offset the increase in tax charges due to increased profits while profit before tax (PBT) grew to $259 million from $111 million in 2020.
Commenting on the results, its Chief Executive Officer, Raghunath Mandava, explained that the company’s Q1 2022 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.
He noted that Q1 of last year was impacted by the start of COVID-19, but even after adjusting for these effects, the company’s Q1 2022 revenue growth rates for the group, service segments and reporting regions were all ahead of Q4 2021 trends.
“We have posted strong double-digit growth across voice (26.0 per cent), data (37.4 per cent) and mobile money (53.7 per cent), and across all our regions. Sub-Saharan Africa is now experiencing a third wave of the pandemic. Governments are implementing balanced measures of lockdowns and restrictions. But vaccination levels remain very low. 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”, Mandava said.