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Airtel Africa made $523 million profit in nine months

On Thursday, Airtel Africa announced a lower profit of $801 million compared to $864 million the year before. Despite expanding its client base and revenue, the company’s expenses rose, and its net finance costs shot up, which resulted in a drop in gross profit.

However, the group’s profit after taxes increased by 1.7% to $523 million from the previous year’s stated amount. According to data from Market Screener, the company’s average revenue per user (ARPU) increased by 7.2% as its client base increased by 10.1% to 138.5 million.

Revenue for Airtel Africa increased by 12% to $3.91 billion from $3.49 billion the year before. Nonetheless, spending went from $1.80 billion to $2.00 billion, a 12% increase. The company lost out on what would have been a record profit due to this and a 78% increase in net finance costs, which went from $291 million in 2021 to $519 million in 2022.

Airtel building. Source: Google

Over the nine months covered by the report, Airtel, among other things, gained a new spectrum in Nigeria (5G), the DRC, Tanzania, Zambia, and Kenya.

With a growth rate of 20.9%, Nigeria is still Airtel Africa’s largest market, followed by East Africa and francophone Africa, both of which had growth rates of 11.9%. Revenue climbed across the board by 15.9%, with voice revenue up 12.7% and trailing data revenue up 22.3%.

Revenue from mobile money increased by 29.8%, primarily due to good performances in East Africa (32.5%) and Francophone Africa (21.7%).

Despite introducing Smartcash in Nigeria in July 2022, the company did not disclose financial information regarding its venture into mobile money in that country, possibly choosing to be more careful while entering Nigeria’s bank-dominated payments sector. The voice subscriber restrictions in Nigeria and the loss of tower-sharing revenues as a result of the sales of towers in Tanzania, Madagascar, and Malawi in the second half of 2022, according to the London-listed firm, hurt its revenue performance.