Airtel Africa Plc has posted a revenue growth of 21.9% in its Nigeria business to stand at $1.55 billion in 2020, with 23.5% growth in East Africa, and 10% in Francophone Africa. The telco reported an increase of 14.2% in its gross revenue in its 2020 earnings.
This was disclosed in the telco’s year ended March 30 earnings, which was released on Wednesday.
Highlights of the result
- Revenue from voice was up by 11%, data revenue grew by 31.2% and mobile money was up 35.5% in 2020.
- Reported revenue grew by 14.2% to $3.91 billion in 2020, while Q4 2020 revenue stood at $1.04 billion, indicating a 15.4% increase (year-on-year).
- Constant currency underlying revenue growth was 19.4%, with Q4 2020 growth of 21.7%.
- Growth was recorded across all regions: Nigeria up 21.9%, East Africa up 23.5%, and Francophone Africa up 10%; and across key services, with revenues for voice up 11.0%, data up 31.2%, and mobile money up 35.5%.
- Underlying EBITDA was $1.79 billion, up by 18.3% in reported currency, and 25.2% in constant currency.
- The underlying EBITDA margin was 46.1%, adding 181 basis points (210 basis points higher in constant currency). The underlying EBITDA margin for the quarter ended March 2021 was 47.7%, an increase of 389 basis points in constant currency.
- Operating profit increased by 24.2% to $1.12 billion in reported currency, and 32.8% in constant currency.
- Free cash flow was $647 million, up by 42.8% from the prior year.
- Basic EPS was 9.0 cents, down by 12.6%, largely due to last year’s exceptional items and a one-off derivative gain. Excluding these, basic restated EPS rose 44.5%. EPS before exceptional items was 8.2 cents.
- The telco’s customer base grew by 6.9% to 118.2 million, with increased penetration across mobile data (customer base up 14.5%) and mobile money services (customer base up 18.5%). The recent slowdown in customer base growth has been due to new SIM registration regulations in Nigeria.
- The Board recommended a final dividend of 2.5 cents per share, making the total dividend for the year to be 4.0 cents per share.
What Airtel is saying
Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Africa Plc, Raghunath Mandava, said, “In these challenging times, I want to say a huge thank you to all our employees, our business partners, and governments and regulators who have supported us, and in turn facilitated our continued support to the economies and communities we serve.
Our performance has been strong, with reported growth of 13.6% in underlying revenue and 18.3% in underlying EBITDA, and constant currency growth of 19.4% and 25.2% respectively.”