Airtel Africa has acknowledged that its sale of tower infrastructure in Madagascar, Malawi and Tanzania, while providing immediate short-term revenue, represents a long-term shortfall. This, together with regulatory KYC issues in Nigeria, has impacted its revenue growth.
In its financial results for the half year ended 30 September 2022, the telco reported 16.9% constant currency revenue growth, short of the projected 20.4%.
The company’s subscriber base across the 14 markets in Africa increased to 134.7 million, with 3.1 million net additions in the past quarter.
It added that its active mobile money subscriber base grew by 7.6% on quarter and 24% year-on-year to 29.7 million customers.
Airtel Africa CEO Segun Ogunsanya said, “Airtel Africa continued to deliver strong results as its purpose of transforming the lives of people across Sub-Saharan Africa through digital and financial inclusion gained further momentum with growth accelerating in the second quarter. While we are not immune to the current micro-economic challenges and currency devaluation risks, I’m pleased to report double digit reported revenue growth in the period, largely driven by customer growth of 9.7%.”
In May last year, Airtel Africa sold its tower portfolio in Tanzania to a JV in a transaction valued at approximately US$175-million.
The Tanzania tower portfolio comprised approximately 1, 400 towers that formed part of the Group’s wireless telecommunication infrastructure network.
In March this year, the company signed an MoU with Helios Towers to sell 1, 229 towers in Madagascar and Malawi for US$108-million.
The company also announced that it would sell its tower assets in Chad and Gabon to Helios Towers.
In Nigeria, the government has continued to implement the registration of valid National Identity Number (NIN) and SIM cards with phone operators. Airtel said this has impacted the on-boarding of new customers on its network.
Airtel Africa has presence in Zambia, Kenya, DRC, Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda, among other Sub-Saharan countries.