Airtel Africa has released its Q3 results for the year 2021 reporting a 21.7% revenue growth to $3.4 billion.
The telco recorded underlying revenue growth across all regions with Nigeria recording the highest 29.0%, East Africa up 24.4%, and Francophone Africa up 19.0%; and across all key services, with revenue in Voice up 16.1%, and in Data and Mobile Money both up 37.2%.
Underlying EBITDA was $1,703m, growing by 31.3% in reported currency with an EBITDA margin of 48.8%, an increase of 326 basis points led by both revenue growth and improved operational efficiencies.
Operating profit grew by 43.1% to $1,146m in reported currency while profit after tax almost doubled to $514m as higher profit before tax more than offset associated tax charges.
Basic EPS was 11.7 cents, an increase of 113.8%, largely as a result of higher profit. EPS before exceptional items increased to 11.5 cents, up from 5.0 cents in the previous period. Operating free cash flow grew by 42.2% to $1,271m and net cash generated from operating activities was up 23.1% to $1,499m. •Leverage ratio improved to 1.4x from 2.1x in the previous period.
Airtel Africa customer base expanded to 125.8 million, growing by 5.8%, with increased penetration across mobile data (customer base up 11.1%) and mobile money services (customer base up 19.6%). Customer base growth was affected by the NIN/SIM regulations in Nigeria but returned to growth in this region in the third quarter; excluding Nigeria, the customer base grew by 12.0%.
Commenting on the results Airtel Africa Chief Executive Officer Segun Ogunsanya said a strong third quarter had contributed to a pleasing nine-month financial performance across all key metrics.
‘’Operationally we have continued to execute on our network and distribution expansion plans, driving continued strong growth in ARPUs across voice, data, and mobile money. We have also seen further improvement in our customer growth trends for the Group with Nigeria returning to strong customer growth after a period affected by the implementation of new ‘know your customer requirements, posting 1.9 million net additions in the third quarter, taking total Group customer additions to 3.1 million.’’ he said.
‘’We continued to strengthen our balance sheet, with our leverage ratio now 1.4 times underlying EBITDA, thanks to both to continued increases in operating cash flow delivery and to over $550m of cash that has now been received from minority investments into our mobile money business,‘’ he added.