Mobile Money pays off for Airtel Africa with 11.2% revenue jump
13 May 2020 | Melanie Mingas
Airtel Africa has recorded US$3.422 million in revenue in its full year results, an 11.2% increase, following growth in all three of its business services.
In its market statement, the carrier noted that over the course of April revenue growth was lower due to the Covid-19 pandemic and customer behaviour “being impacted by lower disposable income and restrictions on movements”. However, growth in data and Airtel Money revenues “more than offset revenue declines in voice”.
Airtel Africa said the results “delivered in line with [the] strategy set out at the time of [our] IPO”. The Company listed on 28 June 2019, raising circa £595m.
The carrier’s customer base grew 11.9% to reach 110.6 million subscribers, making Airtel Africa the either the largest or second largest carrier in all of its 14 markets with network with 65% of sites now on 4G. Underlying EBIDTA increased 13.8% to reach $1.515 million.
The increases followed a rise of 9.9% in revenues for the nine months ending 31 December 2019.
Airtel Africa's future investments will focus on expanding distribution to customers; modernising and expanding the network; acquiring new spectrum in Nigeria, Tanzania, Malawi and Chad; and entering into strategic partnerships for the mobile money business.
CEO Raghunath Mandava (pictured) said: “These results demonstrate the strength and resilience of our business and the effectiveness of our strategy - with all three business services, voice, data and mobile money, contributing to revenue growth. We have also continued to invest in future growth opportunities”
Reflecting on the current challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, Mandava added: “We enter this period of increased volatility in a strong financial position and our view on the medium-term opportunities across our footprint has not changed, as these markets will continue to benefit from strong population growth and the need for increased connectivity and financial inclusion.
“Finally, I would like to thank wholeheartedly our employees and partners, without whom none of this would be possible,” he said.
Airtel Money represents 9% of the group’s gross revenues, but the concept of mobile money in Africa has been an established revenue driver since the early 2010s.
In August of last year, analysts at Goldman Sachs predicted a 9% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) for the total revenue for Airtel Africa between that financial year and 2024, composed of a CAGR of 18% in data usage and 30% in mobile money.
Further, the data and mobile money segments were expected to contribute 52% and 37% of total subscribers, respectively, in FY24 from 30% and 15% in FY19.
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