Airtel Africa defies economic headwinds with resilient performance

Airtel Africa defies economic headwinds with resilient performance

Segun Ogunsanya, Group Chief Executive, Airtel Africa

Airtel Africa Plc has announced its financial results for the year ended March 31, 2024, demonstrating a resilient performance despite a challenging macro-economic environment. The company’s total customer base grew by 9.0% to 152.7 million, driven by its strategic focus on bridging the digital divide.

Mobile money subscribers increased by 20.7%, with a significant 38.2% rise in transaction value in constant currency. The annual transaction value reached an impressive $112 billion in reported currency, underscoring the growing adoption of Airtel Africa’s financial services.

Revenue in constant currency grew by 20.9%, with acceleration to 23.1% in the fourth quarter of 2024. Notably, Nigerian constant currency revenue growth surged to 34.2% in the fourth quarter, despite economic headwinds. However, reported currency revenues declined by 5.3% to $4,979 million due to currency devaluation, particularly in Nigeria.

Airtel Africa’s EBITDA margins remained robust at 48.8%, despite currency fluctuations and inflationary pressures. Constant currency EBITDA increased by 21.3%, while reported currency EBITDA declined by 5.7% to $2,428 million.

The company reported a loss after tax of $89 million, primarily attributed to significant foreign exchange headwinds. Basic EPS was negative 4.4 cents, compared to 17.7 cents last year. EPS before exceptional items was 10.1 cents, a decline of 25.9%.

Airtel Africa’s capital allocation priorities include a share buyback program of up to $100 million over 12 months. The Board has recommended a final dividend of 3.57 cents per share, making the total dividend for FY24 5.95 cents per share.

The company’s sustainability initiatives include a landmark five-year $57 million partnership with UNICEF to provide free educational resources across 13 markets. Additionally, Airtel Africa has partnered with the Government of Rwanda to launch the ConnectRwanda 2.0 initiative, aiming to provide over a million people with affordable smartphones and bridge the digital divide.

Olusegun Ogunsanya, Chief Executive Officer, commented, “Our consistent execution of our ‘Win with’ strategy has supported the acceleration in constant currency revenue growth, reducing the impact of currency headwinds. We will continue to focus on reducing our exposure to currency volatility and delivering against the growth opportunity that exists across our markets.”

Source: PML Daily

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