Airtel Africa recorded a 131% increase in its profit after tax in H1 period ended 30th September 2021 to stand at $335 million. This is according to its half-year 2021 financial report recently released on the website of the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX). 

The result shows that Airtel Africa posted a bottom line of $335 million in the review period compared to $145 million recorded in the corresponding period of 2020. The growth was largely driven by significant increase in all its revenue generating units in the period under review. 

Notably, its revenue increased by 25.2% to $2.27 billion as opposed to $1.82 billion recorded in the previous year, most of which was generated from voice revenue. 

Highlights 

Voice revenue generated by the telco giant increased by 17.3% in the six-month period of 2021 from $972 million recorded in the previous year to $1.14 billion. 
A further breakdown of the financials also showed that voice revenue accounted for 50.2% of the total revenue generated by Airtel Africa in the review period. 
Data revenue also increased by 33.8% to stand at $733 million compared to $548 million recorded in the prior year. 
Mobile money and other income stood at $259 million and $200 million in H1 2021, both recording year-on-year growth of 43.1% and 22% respectively. 
EBITDA stood at $1.09 billion in the period under review while the EBITDA margin grew from 44.7% recorded in the corresponding period of 2020 to 48.3%. 
Profit after tax increased by 131% to $335 million while Earnings per share recorded similar growth to 7.6 cents 

Similarly, the company recorded growth in terms of customer base across its various revenue units. Specifically, its data customer base increased from 39.6 million recorded as of September 2020 to 43.9 million customers, representing a year-on-year growth of 10.9%. 

In the same vein, mobile money customers increased from 20.1 million to 23.9 million, which represents an 18.9% increase in the space of one year. It is worth noting that its total customer base as at the end of September 2021 was 122.7 million, indicating a growth rate of 5.4% from 116.4 million recorded in the prior year. 

What happened in Nigeria 

In its Nigeria operation, the firm recorded growth across all its revenue generating units in the period under review as total revenue increased by 24.58% from $718 million recorded in H1 2020 to $896 million in H1 2021. 

Voice revenue in the period also increased by 14% to $471 million from $413 million, while data revenue surged by 36.6% to stand at $351 million from $257 million recorded in the prior year. 

Recall that Nairametrics reported earlier that Airtel Africa entered an agreement with Qatar Holding LLC, an affiliate of the Qatar Investment Authority, for which the later invested $200 million in Airtel Mobile Commerce BV, a subsidiary of Airtel Africa Plc. This could serve as a major boost for the company’s mobile money unit. 

What they are saying 

According to the CEO of Airtel Africa, Segun Ogunsanya, “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.” 

The risks from Covid still remain, with sub-Saharan Africa continuing to experience a third wave of the pandemic. Governments continue to implement balanced measures of lockdowns and restrictions accordingly. But vaccination levels remain low, and we continue to monitor the situation for potential impacts on economies and consumers.” He added. 

He also added that, “operationally we have continued our network modernisation and expansion, aligned with an extension of our distribution capabilities, which have together contributed towards continued strong growth in ARPUs across voice, data and mobile money. We have seen an improvement in our customer growth trends for the Group as we approach stability of net monthly movements in Nigeria. 

The company recently launched its long-term sustainability strategy, which sets out the company’s detailed plans to improve the lives of millions of people across Africa through digital and financial inclusion and access to education. 

The CEO explained that the company  identified six of the of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which includes; Quality education, Gender equality, Decent work and economic growth, Industry, innovation and infrastructure, Reduced inequalities, and Responsible consumption and production. 

As of the close of trade on Friday, 29th October 2021, the shares of Airtel Africa closed at N780 on the NGX.