Data, mobile money steer Airtel’s revenue growth

Wednesday January 29 2020

An increase of Internet access through mobil

An increase of Internet access through mobile phones has seen growth in data revenue. PHOTO BY ERONIE KAMUKAMA  

By CHRISTINE KASEMIIRE

Kampala- Revenue from data and mobile money steered Airtel Africa’s operations, boosting the company’s overall revenue by 9.9 per cent.
The telecom’s revenue grew to $2.5b for the nine months ended December 31 from $2.2b in 2018.

According to the company’s results released yesterday, Airtel Africa realised 3.9 per cent increase in voice revenue, 39 per cent and 40.4 per cent in data and mobile money, respectively during the period.

“We are also increasingly seeing the success of our strategy to lead in the roll-out of modernised 4G networks, with more than 40 per cent increase in data revenues for the quarter… our mobile money offer as well as increasing the distribution footprint have helped gain further acceptance of Airtel money,” Mr Raghunath Mandava, chief executive officer, Airtel Africa said, highlighting improved performance in the rest of Africa, Nigeria and East Africa.

Airtel Africa recorded $228m for the nine months ended December 2019 up from $167m in 2018 from mobile money and data revenue grew to $677m from $496m in 2018.

The India based telecom also grew its voice revenue to $1.46b during the period from $1.44b in 2018 which was attributed to growth in the subscribers to 107.1m from 97.9m of these, 32.9m are data users who grew from 29.3m in 2018.

Despite an improvement in its operating profit, Airtel’s bottom line suffered a 2.2 per cent dip from $338m in net profit for 2018 to $331m in 2019 weighed down by one-off deferred tax recognition in Nigeria in the nine-month period ending 31 December 2018.

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The telecom incurred a total tax charge of $170m as a result of higher operating profit and withholding tax on dividends as the Nigerian subsidiary declared a first dividend.

Airtel Africa which raised $750m (Shs2.7 trillion) in its initial public offering at the London Stock Exchange last year, with an aim of implementing some of its strategies as well as paying off debts registered $3.2b in net debt. This is a reduction from $4.1b during the same period in 2018.

Bharti Airtel

Bharti Airtel, the parent company of Airtel Africa, according to First Post, an online news source has suffered increased liabilities following an October 2019 Supreme Court ruling that held that non-core revenues have to be considered for calculating statutory dues.
In its report, Airtel noted that the group’s intermediate parent company has successfully raised approximately $3b of additional capital through a combination of qualified institutional equity placement and convertible bond offerings.

As a result, the directors have concluded that the previously highlighted material uncertainty around the group’s ability to continue as a going concern no longer exists and that the Group has adequate committed and non-committed facilities to operate as a going concern.

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

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