Airtel Africa has announced its results for half year which ended on 30 September 2022.
Highlights of the same are as follows:
• Total customer base increased to 134.7 million, up 9.7%, with increased penetration across mobile data (customer base up 10.6%) and mobile money services (customer base up 24.0%).
• ARPU growth of 7.2% in constant currency, largely driven by increased usage across voice, data and mobile money.
• Mobile money transaction value increased by 31.7%, to an annualized value of $86.1bn in Q2’23.
• Reported revenue grew by 12.9% in the half, to $2,565m, and 12.7% for Q2’23. Constant currency growth rate accelerated to 18.5% in Q2, supporting half year growth of 16.9%.
• Strong revenue growth in constant currency was posted across all four reporting segments. Mobile Services revenue in Nigeria grew by 19.7%, in East Africa by 12.4% and in Francophone Africa by 12.1% (and across the Group by 15.6%, with voice revenue up by 12.0% and data revenue up by 22.1%). Mobile Money revenue grew by 29.5%, driven by growth of 31.5% in East Africa and 23.6% in Francophone Africa.
• EBITDA increased by 14.3% to $1,255m in reported currency and by 17.8% in constant currency, with an EBITDA margin of 48.9%, an increase of 60 basis pointsin reported currency and 38 basis points in constant currency.
• Profit aftertax was $330m, lower by 1.5% due to higher foreign exchange and derivative losses of $160m. Profit after tax excluding foreign exchange and derivative losses was up by 30.4%.
• EPS before exceptional items was 6.8 cents, a reduction of 9.5% largely as a result of higher foreign exchange and derivative losses of $160m. Basic EPS increased to 7.9 cents (up by 3.7%) as a result of deferred tax asset recognition in Kenya.
• The board has declared an interim dividend of 2.18 cents per share (2 cents in H1’22).
• In July 2022, the Group prepaid $450m of outstanding external debt at HoldCo. The remaining debt at HoldCo is now $550m, falling due in May 2024. The leverage ratio has fallen to 1.3x from 1.5x in the prior period.
• Capex increased by 26.9% to $310m, in line with our guidance, as we continue to invest forfuture growth. Additionally, we acquired spectrum in key markets including DRC and Kenya.
• Inaugural sustainability report published today, reflecting the Group’s commitment to documenting progress against its long-term sustainability strategy launched in October 2021.
Airtel Africa continued to deliver strong results as its purpose of transforming the lives of people across sub-Saharan Africa through digital and financial inclusion gained further momentum, with growth accelerating in the second quarter. Whilst we are not immune to the current macro-economic challenges and currency devaluation risks, I am pleased to report double-digit reported revenue growth in the period, largely driven by customer growth of 9.7% and ARPU growth of 7.2%, as we increased penetration and usage through our affordable service offerings. Our cost efficiency initiatives combined with improving growth trends have also helped offset inflationary pressures on our cost base and expand our EBITDA margin by 38bps in constant currency. We continue to de-risk our balance sheet and have further reduced HoldCo debt with the early repayment of $450m of bond in July.
We continue to invest for growth and have increased capital expenditure by 27% over the period, alongside a substantial investment into additional spectrum across several markets.
Following the receipt of the Payment Service Bank and Super-Agent licence in Nigeria during the period, we have launched our mobile money operations. We are excited about the opportunity in our biggest market and will continue to build trust and confidence in the brand, whilst investing in distribution to increase access to financial services for underserved communities within the country.
Today we have also published our inaugural sustainability report. The report provides a detailed review of our sustainability strategy that underpins our corporate purpose and sets out our achievements to date and our focus for the future.
Overall these results continue to demonstrate the effectiveness of our strategy, sound execution, and the resilience of our business despite the uncertainmacro-economic environment. For the remainder of the financial year, we anticipate sustained growth in the business, alongside EBITDA margin resilience.Segun Ogunsanya, Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Africa