Bharti Airtel subsidiary Airtel Africa reported profit after tax almost doubled to $514m as revenue grew by 21.7% to $3.4 billion.
Operating profit grew by 43.1% to $1.1 billion for the nine months ending December 31, 2021. There was underlying revenue growth in all regions as Nigeria was up 29%, East Africa up 24.4% and Francophone Africa 19%. Revenue was up in all key services such as voice which was up 16.1%, data and mobile money which were both up by 37.2%.
Underlying EBITDA was up by 31.3% to $1.7 billion and a margin of 48.8%, an increase of 326 basis points led by both revenue growth and improved operational efficiencies. Customer base grew 5.8% to 125.8 million with penetrations seen in mobile data and mobile money.
Airtel Africa chief executive Segun Ogunsanya said a strong Q3 “contributed” to the operator’s nine-month performance across all metrics.
In Nigeria, there was a strong return to customer growth with 1.9 million net additions in Q3 taking total customer base to 3.1 million.
“I am particularly pleased with developments in Nigeria, where in November we received approval in principle for both a payment service bank (mobile money) licence and a super-agent licence.
“We are now working closely with the Central Bank to meet all its conditions to receive the final operating licences and commence operations. This will enable us to expand our digital financial products and reach the millions of Nigerians that do not have access to traditional financial services,” said Ogunsanya.
The company recently joined the FTSE 100 and is pushing ahead with its tower sale in Tanzania.