Airtel Africa yesterday reported a 21% decline in its total net profit at $65 million for the quarter that ended on March 31. This was a significant drop in comparison to the $82 million net profit made in the corresponding period, last year, mainly due to higher finance costs.
While Airtel Africa’s total expenses increased by 11% year-on-year to $658 million due to significantly higher network operating costs, sales and marketing expenses and more substantial payouts towards licence fees, depreciation and amortisation cost increased marginally by 1%.
The African division of Bharti Airtel reported a 15% rise in revenue driven by substantial contributions from the mobile money, voice and data verticals.
Airtel Africa’s CEO Raghunath Mandava said that these results demonstrated the strength and resilience of Airtel Africa and the effectiveness of the company’s strategy – with all three primary business services, mobile money, voice and data, contributing to revenue growth.
However, he also added that the coronavirus pandemic had some impact on Airtel Africa’s numbers.
Net finance costs rose by $18 million driven by other higher finance costs which offset reduced interest costs of $64 million due to lower debt.
Airtel Africa’s data revenue increased by nearly 39% on-year, resulting in more than 56% growth in data usage, while mobile money revenue went up by 29.5%, driven by subscriber growth and a more robust distribution infrastructure.
Airtel Money’s customer base grew by 28.7% on-year to 18.29 million, boosting the total transaction value on its mobile money platform by more than 33% on-year to $8.62 billion.
Mnadava announced that Airtel Africa had also continued to invest in various future growth opportunities as it expanded its distribution, modernised and expanded its network with 65% of sites now on 4G.
He added that the telco had acquired new spectrum in Nigeria, Chad, Tanzania and Malawi, and entered into some strategic partnerships in its mobile money business.