Airtel Africa Reports Growth in Customer Base and Capex

Airtel Africa has reported a 9.1 percent increase in its total customer base, reaching 151.2 million by the close of December 2023.
Airtel Africa InternetThe surge in mobile data and mobile money services contributed to this growth, with a remarkable 22.4 percent rise in data customers to 62.7 million and a 19.5 percent increase in mobile money customers to 37.5 million.

The company’s Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) experienced 10 percent growth, primarily attributed to heightened usage across all segments. Mobile money transactions saw a significant uptick, marking a 41.3 percent increase in constant currency, with a reported currency annualized transaction value of $116 billion in Q3’24.

Financially, Airtel Africa witnessed a 20.2 percent growth in revenue in constant currency, accelerating to 21.0 percent in Q3’24. However, reported currency revenues showed a decline of 1.4 percent to $3,861 million. The company attributed this decline to currency devaluation, particularly the impact of the Nigerian naira devaluation. Despite these challenges, all segments demonstrated double-digit constant currency growth.

Mobile services revenue rose by 18.6 percent, driven by a voice revenue growth of 11.2 percent and data revenue growth of 28.5 percent. Mobile money revenue experienced an impressive 31.8 percent growth in constant currency.

EBITDA declined by 0.4 percent to $1,908 million due to ongoing currency headwinds.

Despite facing significant foreign exchange challenges, resulting in a profit after tax of $2 million, Airtel Africa remains optimistic about its capital allocation strategy. Capital expenditure (Capex) of $494 million was 8.2 percent higher compared to the prior period, with full-year guidance between $800 million and $825 million.

Airtel Africa’s leverage improved to 1.3x in December 2023, compared to 1.4x in the prior period. With remaining debt at HoldCo amounting to $550 million due in May 2024, the company plans to fully repay it, buoyed by HoldCo cash of $560 million.

Airtel Africa CEO Olusegun Ogunsanya expressed confidence in the company’s growth strategy and operational execution, noting sustained positive momentum across the business despite inflationary and currency challenges.

Airtel Africa recently announced the appointment of Sunil Taldar as the next Chief Executive Officer.