Airtel Africa boosted by interim figures

08 November 2019

Airtel Africa reported sustained growth across its voice data and mobile money operations, as its customer base grew by 10.4% to 104 million.

Revenue was up 8.4% year-on-year for the six months ended  September 30, to $1.64bn, as the board claimed second quarter growth accelerated to 9.8%.

First half revenue was 11.4% and 12.6% in the second quarter. It said the constant currency revenue growth of 11.4% was driven by double-digit growth in Nigeria and east Africa, partially offset by a slight decrease in its rest of Africa footprint.

Growth was said to be “broad based” across all services, with revenue in voice, data and mobile money up by 3.2%, 37.8% and 46.5% respectively.

Airtel Africa’s reported underlying EBITDA was $719m for the first half, up 10.9%, while constant currency underlying EBITDA growth was 13.7% over the same period.

 “These figures underline the strength of our ability to consistently deliver growth across voice, data and mobile money,” said chief executive officer Raghunath Mandava.

“This performance underlines our ability to consistently grow in double digits, powered by our growth engines of data and Airtel Money growing at 37% and 46% respectively. “This is the seventh quarter of double-digit growth with EBITDA margin expansion of over 90 basis points.”

Mandava said that in July, the company reached an important milestone as it crossed 100 million customers across its footprint.

 “Over the last six months we launched 4G services in Democratic Republic of Congo and Niger and 4G sites now account for 58% of total sites. Now we are ready to launch in Tanzania, thereby making 4G services available across all our 14 countries.”

Revenue in the mobile money business grew 46.5% in the first half, and just above 50% in the second quarter, which Mandava said was the result of “compelling customer propositions” and investments in Airtel’s exclusive franchise stores and kiosks.