Airtel Africa, a prominent telecom operator in African countries, has released its financial results for the first half of FY23. The telco said that its total customer base increased to 134.7 million, up by 9.7%, with increased penetration across mobile data (customer base up by 10.6%) and mobile money services (customer base up 24%). The average revenue per user (ARPU) grew by 7.2% in constant currency, largely driven by increased usage across voice, data and mobile money. Airtel said that mobile money transaction value increased by 31.7% to an annualised value of $86.1 billion in Q2 FY23.
In the first half of FY23, Airtel's total revenues grew by 12.9% to $2565 million and grew by 12.7% for Q2 FY23. Mobile Services revenue in Nigeria grew by 19.7%, in East Africa by 12.4%, and in Francophone Africa by 12.1% (and across the Group by 15.6%, with voice revenue up by 12.0% and data revenue up by 22.1%). Mobile Money revenue grew by 29.5%, driven by the growth of 31.5% in East Africa and 23.6% in Francophone Africa.
The profit after tax (PAT) for Airtel Africa was $330 million, lower by 1.5% because of the higher foreign exchange and derivative losses of $160 million. Profit after tax, excluding foreign exchange and derivative losses, was up by 30.4%. The board has declared an interim dividend of 2.18 cents per share (2 cents in H1’22).
Segun Ogunsanya, Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Africa, 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. Whilst we are not immune to the current macro-economic challenges and currency devaluation risks, I am pleased to report double-digit reported revenue growth in the period, largely driven by customer growth of 9.7% and ARPU growth of 7.2%, as we increased penetration and usage through our affordable service offerings. Our cost-efficiency initiatives combined with improving growth trends have also helped offset inflationary pressures on our cost base and expand our EBITDA margin by 38bps in constant currency. We continue to de-risk our balance sheet and have further reduced HoldCo debt with the early repayment of $450m of bond in July. We continue to invest for growth and have increased capital expenditure by 27% over the period, alongside a substantial investment into additional spectrum across several markets."