Airtel Africa Plc grew its customer base by 5.4 per cent to 122.7 million for the first half (H1) of the year ended September 30, 2021.
The communication company’s results released on the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited revealed that customer base increased penetration across mobile data and mobile money services.
The company said customer base growth was affected by the new NIN/SIM registration regulations in Nigeria; even though the customer base grew by 13.7 per cent.
The results also showed that revenue grew by 25.2 per cent to $2.272 billion with double digit growth across all regions.
Underlying EBITDA rose by 35.2 per cent to $1.098 billion in reported currency and underlying EBITDA margin improved to 48.3 per cent, an increase of 360 basis points led by both revenue growth and improved operational efficiencies.
Operating profit was up by 55.1 per cent to $732 million in reported currency. Profit after tax stood at $335 million, while earnings per share was 7.6 cents, an increase of 155.9 per cent, as a result of higher profit.
The board declared an interim dividend of two cents per share in line with an upgraded dividend policy. The new policy aims to grow the dividend annually by a mid to high-single digit percentage from a new base of five cents per share for full year 2022, with a continued focus to further strengthen the balance sheet.
Speaking on the performance, chief executive officer of Airtel Africa, Segun Ogunsanya said: “Our first half financial performance has been strong. The first half of last year, and especially Q1, was impacted by the start of COVID, but even after adjusting for these effects, our revenue growth rates for the half year for the Group and all our service segments are ahead of our full year 2021 revenue growth trends, and in reported terms these are all in strong double digits.”
Ogunsanya added that, “the continent continues to be a growth story for us despite the pandemic. We will continue to invest in mobile and digital technologies to drive digital and financial inclusion sustainably in Africa.”