EARNINGS

Airtel's EA revenue up on data and voice

Voice revenue in East Africa grew to Sh64.56 billion

In Summary

•The firm's profit after tax however dropped by 4.4 per cent to $408 million (Sh43.46 billion.

•The revenue growth was partially offset by currency devaluation in Zambia and Kenya.

Airtel Kenya Headquarters at Parkside Towers along Mombasa Road./FILE
Airtel Kenya Headquarters at Parkside Towers along Mombasa Road./FILE

Airtel's Eastern Africa operations posted a nine per cent revenue growth for the year ending March 31, largely spread across all its services.

 The growth was however partially offset by currency devaluation in Zambia and Kenya.

"All countries, with the exception of Rwanda, delivered double-digit revenue growth," the firm said in a statement.

 

The telco's performance between January and March was largely driven by an increase in voice and data customers in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

Voice revenue in East Africa grew 6.2 per cent to $606 million (Sh64.56 billion) largely driven by a 13.5 per cent increase in customers and 15.8 per cent increase in usage per customer.

Additionally, data revenue grew by 20.3 per cent driven by 22 per cent growth in data customers to Sh32.7 billion.

"There was growth in all countries underpinned by the rollout of more than 2,400 of 4G sites, a 2.9 percentage point increase in smartphone penetration, and simple and affordable products," the firm said.

Data revenue accounted for 25.6 per cent of the total revenue in East Africa.

Expansion slowed in the second half compared to the same period in the prior year, which benefited from an extensive distribution rollout in Zambia.

The telco's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation dropped by 111 basis points due to higher operating expenses resulting from investment in network expansion, higher marketing spends, and increased regulatory charges in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.

 

"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," Airtel's Africa CEO Raghunath Mandava said.

"These markets will continue to benefit from strong population growth and the need for increased connectivity and financial inclusion," he added.

The firm's profit after tax  however dropped by 4.4 per cent to $408 million (Sh43.46 billion) attributed to a one-off deferred tax recognition in Nigeria in the year ended 30 March 2019, as well as a lower exceptional item gain in the current period.