Airtel Africa says Nigeria operations drive revenue growth in Q1, outlook uncertain
Airtel Africa on Friday said revenue from its Nigeria’s operations grew 17.1 percent, cumulating in the overall performance of the telecoms company in the first quarter to June 2020.
In a statement, the telecoms firms said its overall African operations resulted in 6.7 percent growth in revenue to $871 million from $796 million the corresponding period of last year, driven by increased in revenue from mobile money, voice and data usage by subscribers.
“Constant currency revenue growth was recorded across all key business segments, with voice revenue up by 2.2 percent, data by 35.7 percent and mobile money by 26.3 percent.
The company said its subscriber based also jumped in the period of three months to June by t11.8 percent to 111.5 million despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the operations of the company.
“In Nigeria, revenue in constant currency increased by 17.1 percent, with reported revenue growth of 8.9 percent as a result of the Nigerian naira devaluation. Slowdown in revenue growth during the quarter was driven by the restriction on movements imposed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, which impacted customer usage, particularly in voice,” the company said in a statement.
However, Aitel operations in Nigeria reported data revenue growth of 40 percent, which it said was supported by 18.5 percent growth in data customers and data ARPU growth of 20.7 percent.
“Data customer penetration in our customer base was 41 percent, up by 2 ppts from previous period. The accelerated rollout of 4G network supported customer base growth (with 70 percent of total sites now being 4G) and affordable data bundle offerings.
“Data usage per customer reached 2.7 GB, up by 69.2 percent and the data revenue accounted for 35.7 percent of total revenue, up 5.8 percent.”
Raghunath Mandava, chief executive officer said the company business was impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, as restrictions on movements of people and ways of socialising were introduced to contain the spread of infection.
In these unprecedented times, we have worked with governments, regulators, partners, and suppliers to keep customers and businesses connected as well as supporting the economies and communities.
Covid-19 impacted customer usage pattern, particularly during the month of April, however, as some of these restrictions started to be lifted, customer usage trends in May and June returned to being broadly consistent with pre Covid-19 trends.
The Group’s performance generally reflected these trends, with revenue growth accelerating in May, and we ended the quarter with 13 percent revenue growth and 61 bps of EBITDA margin expansion in constant currency.
The business showed its resilience even during these unprecedented circumstances with all key business segments –
The outlook remains uncertain, particularly regarding a so-called potential second wave of infections and the actions governments will decide to take in that event.
However, these results are further evidence of the growth opportunities our markets offer and the effectiveness of our strategy to focus on winning customers, investing in our network and expanding our voice, data and mobile money businesses.”