Airtel Africa on Wednesday reported doubling of profit after tax for the March 2021 quarter to $154 million (over Rs 1130 crore), amid broad-based growth across key services and markets. The underlying revenue for the fourth quarter ended March stood at $1,038 million (about Rs 7,619 crore), rising 15.4 per cent year-on-year on a reported currency basis.
Profit after tax doubled over the year ago period, jumping to $154 million in the quarter ended March amid higher depreciation and amortisation and reduction in forex losses. In a statement, Airtel Africa said for the full year ended March 2021, the reported revenue grew by 14.2 per cent to $3,908 million (over Rs 28,600 crore).
"Growth was recorded across all regions — Nigeria up 21.9, East Africa up 23.5 per cent and Francophone Africa up 10 per cent; and across key services, with revenues for voice up 11 per cent, data up 31.2 per cent and mobile money up 35.5 per cent," the statement said. Airtel Africa said its customer base grew by 6.9 per cent to 118.2 million, with increased penetration across mobile data (customer base up 14.5 per cent) and mobile money services (customer base up 18.5 per cent).
"The recent slowdown in customer base growth has been due to new SIM registration regulations in Nigeria," it added. Raghunath Mandava, chief executive officer, Airtel Africa, said contributions to the company's growth came across all regions, with particular improvement in Francophone Africa, and across all our major services, with mobile money, data and voice each posting double-digit revenue growth.
"In line with our strategy of unlocking value in our mobile money business, we will soon welcome two new minority investors (The Rise Fund and Mastercard) in agreed transactions which value this part of our business at $2.65 billion, as well as bringing $300 million into the Group. We have also agreed to sell more of our tower portfolio, yielding yet more cash for the business," he said.So far this has had no adverse impact on the business, though the company will continue to monitor the situation closely, he added. "The combination of bringing connectivity to underpenetrated mobile markets and improving financial inclusion through banking the unbanked, across our territories of operation, together provide us with a sizeable runway of sustainable profitable growth potential, and one we remain very confident of delivering," Mandava pointed out.