Airtel Africa Plc has reported a $755 million profit for the year concluded March 31, 2022, representing an upsurge of 82 percent over the $415million noted in the prior year.
The telecommunication giant’s audited result showed a 75.6 percent increase in profit before tax to $1.2 billion in 2022 from $697million in 2021.
With the profit growth after-tax, Airtel Africa’s management recommended a final dividend of 3 cents per share, making total FY’22 dividends 5 cents per share (FY’21: 4 cents).
From the profit & loss figures, Airtel Africa reported a revenue increase of 20.6per cent to $4.7billion in 2022 and 17.8per cents for the fourth quarter of 2022.
The company, in a statement, noted that constant currency underlying revenue growth was strong in all regions: Nigeria up 27.7per cent, East Africa up 22.7per cent, and Francophone Africa up 17.2per cent; and across all key services, with revenue in Voice up 15.4per cent, Data up 34.6per cent and Mobile Money up 34.9per cent.
According to Airtel Africa, operating free cash flow of $1.6billion, up 40.5per cent, with net cash generated from operating activities up 20.7per cent to $2.01billion.
“Over the last twelve months the business has repaid nearly $1.4bn of debt at HoldCo as a result of strong cash upstreaming across its OpCos and proceeds from minority investments in mobile money and tower sales,” the company in a statement explained.
Airtel Africa reported a Customer base of 128.4 million, up 8.7per cent, with increased penetration across mobile data (customer base up 15.2per cent) and mobile money services (customer base up 20.7per cent). NIN/SIM regulations in Nigeria impacted customer growth in H1 but then returned to strong growth, adding 4 million customers in Nigeria during H2’22.
The chief executive officer, Airtel Africa, Mr. Segun Ogunsanya, in a statement, said: “This is another strong set of results for Airtel Africa, demonstrating our solid execution as we continue to enrich the lives of a growing number of people through leveraging the sizeable opportunity to promote digital and financial inclusion across our markets.
“We have delivered strong double-digit growth in revenues across all our regions and all our key services, with improving margins driven by strong cost control and expanding cash generation, which is enabling us to continue to invest in our network and services and expand our distribution, as well as strengthening our balance sheet and increasing our returns to shareholders. We connect more customers in new and existing coverage areas and drive usage levels and ARPUs to new highs.
“We have successfully executed several strategic initiatives in the year, with tower sales completed in four countries, $550milllion of minority investments secured for our mobile money business, and a successful buyout of minorities in our Nigerian operation.
“Our receipt last month of a full PSB license in Nigeria will help us to accelerate financial inclusion in the territory and drive our mobile money business even faster.
He added, “While the fundamentals of our six-pillar growth strategy remain unchanged, we are looking to accelerate our performance through a greater focus on digitalization. We have underpinned our strategic pillars with our sustainability ambition.
“I am particularly proud of the progress we have made in articulating our sustainability strategy this year and the partnership we announced with UNICEF to help drive and support educational programs in our territories. I look forward to publishing both our pathway to net-zero and our first full sustainability report later in the year.
“Turning to the outlook, long-term opportunities for us remain attractive. While mindful of currency devaluation and repatriation risks, we continue to work actively to mitigate all our material risks and to deliver value for all our stakeholders. There are increasing challenges from global inflationary pressures, but we continue to target revenue growth ahead of the market and moderate margin expansion.”