Airtel Africa Reports Resilient Growth Amid Economic Challenges

Airtel Africa plc reports robust performance with significant customer base expansion and revenue growth.

Airtel Africa plc has released its financial results for the year ended March 31, 2024, demonstrating resilience and significant growth amidst a challenging macro-economic environment.

Operating Highlights:

  • Total customer base increased by 9.0% to reach 152.7 million.
  • Data customers surged by 17.8% to 64.4 million, with a 20.8% increase in data usage per customer.
  • Mobile money subscribers grew by 20.7%, reflecting ongoing investment in distribution for financial inclusion.
  • Network investment led to 95% of sites being 4G operational, driving a 42.3% increase in 4G customers.

Financial Performance:

  • Revenue in constant currency rose by 20.9%, accelerating to 23.1% in Q4’24, despite a 5.3% decline in reported currency revenues.
  • EBITDA margins remained strong at 48.8%, with constant currency EBITDA up by 21.3%.
  • Loss after tax was $89m, primarily due to foreign exchange headwinds, resulting in a $549m exceptional loss.

The consistent deployment of our ‘Win with’ strategy supported the acceleration in constant currency revenue growth over the recent quarters which has reduced the impact of currency headwinds faced across most of our markets.  This strong revenue performance is a reflection not only of the opportunity that is inherent across our markets, but also the resilience of our affordable offerings despite the inflationary pressure many of our customers have experienced.

Facilitating this growth has been, and will remain, fundamental to our performance. The investment in our distribution to catalyse growth, and the technology required to support this growth has been key. Furthermore, our rigorous approach to de-risking our balance sheet and our capital allocation priorities has materially reduced the risks that the currency devaluation has had on our business. Key initiatives include the reduction of US dollar debt across the business and the accumulation of cash at the HoldCo level to fully cover the outstanding debt due. We will continue to focus on reducing our exposure to currency volatility. At the beginning of March, we launched our first buyback programme reflecting the strength of our financial position.

The growth opportunity that exists across our markets remains compelling, and we are well positioned to deliver against this opportunity. We will continue to focus on margin improvement from the recent level as we progress through the year.

I want to say a particular thank-you to our customers, partners, governments and regulators for their support and our employees for their unrelenting contribution to the business. Our purpose of transforming lives across Africa will continue to be our highest priority.

Olusegun Ogunsanya, Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Africa

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