Souring Customer Base: A Dive into Airtel’s Half Year Performance

In the face of fluctuating market currents, the telecom behemoth, Airtel Africa has marked an admirable ascent in its operational terrain. A robust 9.7% swell in the total customer base was seen, reaching a solid 147.7 million. Driven by a discernible tide of mobile data and mobile money services, the surge saw a notable 23.0% increase in data customers and a 23.1% rise in mobile money patrons.

Financial Dynamics: Triumphs and Trials

Revenue landscapes were marked with promising increments, posting a 19.7% growth in constant currency, settling at a substantial $2,623 million despite facing the rough winds of currency devaluation. However, the perils of foreign exchange showed their impact. A 4.7% decline in Q2’24 reflected the biting effect of the Nigerian naira devaluation last June. The loss after tax hovered at a somber $13 million, mainly underpinned by the substantial foreign exchange loss due to the naira’s fall.

Mr. Anthony Shiner, Chief Commercial Officer, Airtel Africa [File Photo]

Performance Alchemy: Voice, Data, and Mobile Money

Voice, data, and mobile money were the linchpins of the solid performance displayed. A sturdy ARPU [Average Revenue Per User] growth of 9.8% was observed, shepherded by augmented usage across the triumvirate of voice, data, and mobile money. The mobile money sphere witnessed a dazzling increase of 45.3% in transaction values, encapsulating a yearly transaction value that touched a staggering $116 billion in the reported currency.

Capital Choreography and Dividend Dance

On the capital allocation front, there was a meticulous and strategic deployment. A marginal elevation was discerned in Capex, which stood at a formidable $312 million, with a vigilant eye cast on future expansion and growth horizons. In a move reflecting financial prudence and strength, an interim dividend of 2.38 cents per share was declared, marking a 9% uptick, synchronized with a well-calibrated dividend policy.

Sustainability Strides and Visionary Partnerships

A resolute march towards sustainability was etched with significant strides. A monumental partnership worth $57 million unfurled with UNICEF, aiming to architect a landscape of enhanced access to educational resources. The sustainability odyssey also saw a steadfast commitment to the net-zero journey, characterized by nuanced strategies focusing on emissions reductions and substantive stakeholder engagement.

CEO’s Canvas: Strategy and Resilience

The CEO, Olusegun Ogunsanya, painted a canvas of resilient performance coupled with a strategic brilliance. Despite the forex tempests, especially in Nigeria, the company navigated with resilience, showcasing formidable growth in essential domains like voice, data, and mobile money. The articulation of a six-pillar ‘win-with’ strategy was identified as a crucible, forging a pathway of expansive customer bases and enriched network usage.

In conclusion, despite being in the crucible of forex fluctuations and economic headwinds, the telecom titan showcased a tableau of operational resilience and strategic triumphs. Anchored in robust growth pillars like voice, data, and mobile money, and garnished with visionary sustainability strides, the company’s journey resonates with a melody of strategic success and resilient performance.

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