Airtel Africa’s Strategic Investments Drive Robust Growth Amidst Economic Challenges, Grows Revenue by 20.9%

Airtel Africa, a prominent provider of telecommunications and mobile money services across 14 African countries, has showcased a resilient performance amidst a challenging macro-economic landscape. Despite facing currency devaluation and inflationary pressures in various markets, the company reported significant growth in key operating metrics and revenue streams.

In its latest trading update, Airtel Africa revealed several operating highlights, including a notable 9.0% increase in its total customer base, reaching 152.7 million. The company’s strategic focus on bridging the digital divide was evident with a robust 17.8% surge in data customers, totalling 64.4 million, and a remarkable 20.8% rise in data usage per customer. Additionally, its mobile money subscriber base expanded by 20.7%, reflecting ongoing investments in distribution to drive financial inclusion across the region.

Revenue in constant currency grew by 20.9% with growth accelerating to 23.1% in Q4’24. Nigerian constant currency revenue growth accelerated to 34.2% in Q4’24 despite the challenging backdrop. Reported currency revenues declined by 5.3% to $4,979m reflecting the impact of currency devaluation, particularly in Nigeria.

Across the group mobile services revenue grew by 19.4% in constant currency, driven by voice revenue growth of 11.9% and data revenue growth of 29.2%. Mobile Money revenue grew by 32.8% in constant currency, with a continued strong performance in East Africa.

EBITDA margins remained resilient at 48.8% despite the currency headwinds and inflationary pressure on our cost base. Constant currency EBITDA increased 21.3% with reported currency EBITDA declining 5.7% to $2,428m. Q4’24 EBITDA margins of 46.5% were impacted by the lower contribution of Nigeria following the Q4’24 naira devaluation and rising energy costs across a number of markets.

Loss after tax was $89m, primarily impacted by significant foreign exchange headwinds, resulting in a $549m exceptional loss net of tax following the Nigerian naira devaluation in June 2023 and Q4’24, and the Malawian kwacha devaluation in November 2023.

Basic EPS of negative (4.4 cents) compares to 17.7 cents last year. EPS before exceptional items was 10.1 cents, a decline of 25.9%. Both EPS before exceptional items and basic EPS were primarily impacted by significant derivative and foreign exchange losses during the year. EPS before exceptional items and derivative and foreign exchange losses was 18.3 cents compared to 20.5 cents in the prior period.

The company’s sustainability strategy also came to the forefront with initiatives aimed at transforming lives through digital learning and bridging the digital divide. Airtel Africa’s partnership with UNICEF and the Government of Rwanda exemplifies its commitment to leveraging technology for social impact.

Olusegun Ogunsanya, CEO of Airtel Africa, emphasized the company’s strategic focus on margin improvement and reducing exposure to currency volatility. The recent launch of a share buyback program reflects confidence in the company’s financial position and underscores its commitment to enhancing shareholder value.

“The consistent deployment of our ‘Win with’ strategy supported the acceleration in constant currency revenue growth over the recent quarters which has reduced the impact of currency headwinds faced across most of our markets. This strong revenue performance is a reflection not only of the opportunity that is inherent across our markets, but also the resilience of our affordable offerings despite the inflationary pressure many of our customers have experienced.

“Facilitating this growth has been, and will remain, fundamental to our performance. The investment in our distribution to catalyse growth, and the technology required to support this growth has been key. Furthermore, our rigorous approach to de-risking our balance sheet and our capital allocation priorities has materially reduced the risks that the currency de- valuation has had on our business. Key initiatives include the reduction of US dollar debt across the business and the ac- cumulation of cash at the HoldCo level to fully cover the outstanding debt due. We will continue to focus on reducing our exposure to currency volatility. At the beginning of March, we launched our first buyback programme reflecting the strength of our financial position.

“The growth opportunity that exists across our markets remains compelling, and we are well positioned to deliver against this opportunity. We will continue to focus on margin improvement from the recent level as we progress through the year.

“I want to say a particular thank-you to our customers, partners, governments and regulators for their support and our employees for their unrelenting contribution to the business. Our purpose of transforming lives across Africa will continue to be our highest priority.

“Despite facing headwinds, Airtel Africa remains well-positioned to capitalize on growth opportunities across its markets. The company’s dedication to delivering affordable offerings, expanding its network coverage, and driving financial inclusion underscores its commitment to transforming lives across Africa.”

As Airtel Africa continues to navigate the complexities of the African telecommunications landscape, its resilient performance and strategic initiatives serve as a testament to its long-term vision and commitment to creating value for stakeholders.

About Airtel Africa

Airtel Africa is a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services, with presence in 14 countries in Africa, primarily in East Africa and Central and West Africa.  Airtel Africa offers an integrated suite of telecoms solutions to its subscribers, including mobile voice and data services as well as mobile money services, both nationally and internationally. We aim to continue providing a simple and intuitive customer experience through streamlined customer journeys.

The company’s extensive network infrastructure enables it to deliver seamless connectivity and innovative solutions to both individual consumers and businesses. Airtel Africa’s focus on providing a simple and intuitive customer experience underscores its commitment to enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Mobile money services have emerged as a significant area of growth for Airtel Africa, reflecting the increasing demand for convenient and secure financial solutions across the continent. By leveraging its telecommunications infrastructure, Airtel Africa has successfully integrated mobile money services into its offerings, empowering users to conduct financial transactions with ease.

Airtel Africa’s strategic initiatives extend beyond its core business operations, encompassing partnerships with organizations and governments to drive social impact and foster digital inclusion. Through initiatives like the partnership with UNICEF and the ConnectRwanda 2.0 initiative, the company is actively contributing to efforts aimed at improving access to education and bridging the digital divide.

Overall, Airtel Africa’s commitment to innovation, customer-centricity, and social responsibility positions it as a leading player in Africa’s telecommunications landscape. As the company continues to expand its reach and enhance its offerings, it remains dedicated to driving positive change and transforming lives across the continent.



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