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Airtel Africa Plc posts $2m profit after tax in nine months



Airtel Africa buys back 991,861 own shares from Citigroup

Airtel Africa Plc on Wednesday published its Third Quarter report for the period ended 31 December 2023.

Within the nine months period, the Company sustained its operating momentum despite continued foreign exchange headwinds.

Revenue of $3.86 billion was reported for the nine months period, down by 1.4% from $3.91 billion reported the previous year.

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Profit after tax was $2 million within the nine months period, down by 99.6% from the profit after tax of $523 million reported the previous year. The decline in profit after tax is primarily impacted by significant foreign exchange headwinds.

Commenting on the Company’s result, Olusegun Ogunsanya, Group CEO of Airtel Africa stated thus:

“We remain focussed on the execution of our growth strategy and, combined with our strong operational execution, this has ensured that we continue to see sustained, positive growth momentum across the business, despite the inflationary and currency headwinds. Demand remains resilient, highlighting the vital nature of the voice, data and mobile money services we provide to our customers across the region, and has resulted in a strong 20.2% constant currency revenue growth over the period, with an increase in EBITDA margins.

This strong operating performance has limited the impact that currency movements have had on the Group. In this regard, whilst further currency devaluation, particularly in Nigeria, has weighed on our reported financial performance, it will not affect the execution of our growth plans.

I am pleased to note that our sustained focus on capital allocation priorities will enable us to fully repay HoldCo debt when due in May 2024, ensuring the continued success of our balance sheet de-risking strategy. This will allow us to continue investing in our strategic priorities to provide affordable and reliable services to customers across our markets, whilst also enabling us to capitalise on new business opportunities, such as our new data centre business, Nxtra by Airtel, which we launched in December.

In light of our consistent strong operating performance and given current leverage, the Board intendsto launch a share buy-back programme of up to $100m, starting early March 2024 over a 12-month period. We continue to be well positioned to deliver on the attractive growth opportunities our markets offer and despite the challenge of rising diesel prices, ongoing currency devaluation and inflationary pressures across some of our markets, we remain focused on margin resilience.

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