Airtel Africa plc has released its financial results for the half-year ended 30 September 2021.
According to the operator, which offers mobile phones services to 14 African states, its profits doubled after-tax and has generally reported strong growth across the Group.
Here are some of the highlights:
- H1’22 reported revenue grew by 25.2% to $2,272m with double digit growth across all regions. Q2 reported revenue growth of 20.3%.
- Revenue in constant currency grew by 27.6%.
- Strong double-digit constant currency revenue growth across all regions: Nigeria up 32.4%, East Africa up 25.8% and Francophone Africa up 22.1%; and across all key services, Voice up 19.7%, Data up 36.9% and Mobile Money up 42.0%.
- Underlying EBITDA grew by 35.2% to $1,098m in reported currency and underlying EBITDA margin improved to 48.3%, an increase of 360 basis points led by both revenue growth and improved operational efficiencies.
- Operating profit up 55.1% to $732m in reported currency.
- Profit after tax more than doubled to $335m, largely due to higher profit before tax which more than offset the associated increase in tax charges.
- Basic EPS was 7.6 cents, an increase of 155.9%, as a result of higher profit. EPS before exceptional items increased to 7.5 centsfrom 3.0 cents in previous period.
- Operating free cash flow was $853m, up 43.1%, and over the last 18 months we have up streamed more than $570m across our operating entities.
- Leverage ratio reduced to 1.5x from 2.2x.
- Customer base grew by 5.4% to 122.7 million, with increased penetration across mobile data (customer base up 10.9%) and mobile money services (customer base up 19.0%). Customer base growth was affected by the new NIN/SIM registration regulations in Nigeria; excluding Nigeria the customer base grew by 13.7%.
- The board has declared an interim dividend of 2 cents per share (1.5 cents in H1’21) in line with an upgraded dividend policy. The new policy aims to grow the dividend annually by a mid to high-single digit percentage from a new base of 5 cents per share for FY 2022, with a continued focus to further strengthen the balance sheet.
“Our first-half financial performance has been strong. The first half of last year, and especially Q1, was impacted by the start of Covid, but even after adjusting for these effects, our revenue growth rates for the half-year for the Group and all our service segments are ahead of our FY’21 revenue growth trends, and in reported terms, these are all in strong double digits,” Segun Ogunsanya , the recently appointed Airtel Africa CEO, who headed Airtel Nigeria prior to his appointment.