Airtel Africa Adds 9.3M Subscribers; Mobile Data Customer Base up 14.8%

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Airtel Africa, a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services, with a presence in 14 countries across Africa,  reported in its results for the quarter ended 30 June 2021 that its customer base grew by 8.4% to 120.8 million (from 111.5 million in H1 2020), with increased penetration across mobile data (customer base up 14.8%) and mobile money services (customer base up 24.6%).

Brand Spur gathered that the slowdown in customer base growth was due to new SIM registration regulations in Nigeria; excluding Nigeria, the customer base grew by 15.9%.

Raghunath Mandava, chief executive officer, on the trading update, explained,

“Our total customer base has returned to growth with acceleration in our East Africa and Francophone regions and despite continuing negative net additions in Nigeria. With the easing of these restrictions in late April, we have since been able to gradually increase locations for activations in line with regulatory compliance across Nigeria, and we have begun adding new customers.

Our continued focus on modernisation and rollout of our network, along with simplifying our products and improving our distribution, have all helped us to make handsome gains on our ARPUs across voice, data and mobile money. Our robust operating model and solid execution should enable us to continue our profitable growth.”

Airtel africa
The logo of telecommunications company Airtel is pictured on an umbrella and chairs set up by vendors in Abuja. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

Key Financial and Operational Performance Highlights

  • Q1’22 Reported revenue grew by 30.7% to $1,112m, with constant currency growth of 33.1%. Revenue growth partially benefitted from a weakened quarter in the prior year during the peak of Covid-19 restrictions across the region. Even after adjusting for these effects, revenue growth rates for Airtel Africa, service segments and reporting regions were all ahead of Q4’21 trends.
  • Strong revenue growth was recorded across all regions: Nigeria up 38.2%, East Africa up 32.8% and Francophone Africa up 24.9%; and across key services, with revenues for voice up 26.0%, data up 37.4% and mobile money up 53.7%.
  • Operating profit was $352m, up 67.6% in reported currency and 73.9% in constant currency.
  • Profit after tax more than doubled to $142m, up 148.7%, largely due to the higher operating profits along with stable net finance costs which more than offset the increase in tax charges due to increased profits
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