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Airtel Africa Records Double Digit Revenue, 140M Subscriber Base in 2023 Report

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Airtel Africa posted double digit revenue growth of 11.5% in its result of the year ending March 31, 2023 even as it grew customer base by 9.0% to 140million.

Olusegun Ogunsanya, chief executive officer, Airtel Africa, said: “Over the last year, the operating environment has been challenging in many ways, yet our strategic focus on providing reliable, affordable and accessible services across our markets has enabled us to sustain our top-line growth momentum.

“The resilience of our underlying EBITDA margins has shown the effectiveness of our operating model, despite significant inflationary and foreign exchange pressures. Strong customer and ARPU growth over the year demonstrates that demand for our services remains very strong and gives us the confidence to continue investing to support our future growth potential.

“Over the year, we invested $500m on additional spectrum, including 5G, across many of our OpCos which, combined with our capex, will underpin our growth ambitions. Despite this investment, and driven by a disciplined capital allocation policy, our balance sheet remains strong and has been further de-risked over the last year by the prepayment of $450m HoldCo debt in July last year.

“Currencies across our footprint have been under pressure, and the impact from the revaluation of our foreign currency denominated liabilities provided some headwinds in the last financial year.

“While currency devaluation is not in our control, we have plans to continue to mitigate its impact by growing our revenues at a faster pace than devaluation, with double-digit revenue growth in reported currency delivered this year and as we continue to reduce our foreign currency exposure across our balance sheet.

“Our six-pillar strategy continues to provide the basis for stakeholder value creation by facilitating continued expansion of our services to enhance both digital and financial inclusion across Africa. This strategy will continue and will be underpinned by our sustainability strategy as articulated in our Sustainability Report published in October 2022.

I am pleased with this year’s performance and wish to thank all our customers, business partners, governments and regulators for their support and our employees for their consistent contribution to the business’ success. The macro-economic outlook remains volatile, but we are well positioned to deliver against the growth opportunities these markets offer, with a continued focus on margin resilience.”

Carl Cruz, Airtel Nigeria CEO, added: “the results of the year ended March 2023, place Airtel Africa in an optimistic footing and Nigeria, being one of the most vibrant countries in the Group’s operations, is in a vantage position to capitalise on 5G technology, an energetic subscriber base, and the growing adoption of mobile money services, while we continue to promote the Group’s sustainability commitments.”

Highlights

Operating key performance indicators (KPIs)

  • Total customer base grew by 9.0% to 140.0 million, as the penetration of mobile data and mobile money services continued to rise, driving a 16.9% increase in data customers to 54.6 million and a 20.4% increase in mobile money customers to 31.5 million.
  • Constant currency ARPU growth of 7.4% was largely driven by increased usage across voice, data and mobile money.
  • Mobile money transaction value increased by 41.3%, with Q4’23 annualised transaction value exceeding $102bn in constant currency.

Financial performance

  • Revenue in constant currency grew by 17.6%, with revenues growing by 11.5% to $5,255m in reported currency.
  • While each segment’s reported currency revenue growth was impacted by currency devaluation, they all delivered double-digit constant currency revenue growth. Across the Group mobile service revenue grew by 16.2% in constant currency, driven by voice revenue growth of 11.8% and data revenue growth of 23.8%. Mobile money revenue grew by 29.6% in constant currency.
  • Underlying EBITDA increased by 17.3% in constant currency, and 11.4% in reported currency to $2,575m, with an underlying EBITDA margin of 49.0%, reflecting the resilience of our operating model despite inflationary cost pressures.
  • Profit after tax was $750m, a decrease of only $5m, after including a higher foreign exchange and derivative losses of $245m.
  • Basic EPS at 17.7 cents was up by 5.2% due to higher operating profits and exceptional items gain on deferred tax credit recognition in Kenya, the DRC and Tanzania partially offset by higher foreign exchange and derivative losses. EPS before exceptional items was 13.6 cents, a reduction of 15.0%, largely due to higher foreign exchange and derivative losses of $245m. EPS before exceptional items and excluding foreign exchange and derivative losses was 20.6 cents, up by 13.4%.

Capital allocation

  • Capex increased by 14.0% to $748m, in line with our guidance, as we continue to invest for future growth. Additionally, we acquired spectrum in Nigeria, the DRC, Tanzania, Zambia and Kenya during the year.
  • In July 2022, the Group prepaid $450m of outstanding external debt at HoldCo. The remaining debt at HoldCo is now $550m, falling due in May 2024. Cash at the holding companies was $398m. Leverage was at 1.4x in March 2023, broadly stable despite $500m of spectrum investment during the year.
  • The Board has recommended a final dividend of 3.27 cents per share, making the total dividend for FY’23 5.45 cents per share, an increase of 9% in line with our progressive dividend policy.

Sustainability strategy

  • The Group’s inaugural Sustainability Report was published in October 2022, reflecting commitment to sustainability and detailing progress against the long-term goals as outlined in the sustainability strategy.
  • UNICEF partnership launched across 6 of our markets providing educational resources, free of charge, to more than 250,000 children this year on our way to reaching one million children by 2027.
  • The Group’s ambition to achieve net zero by 2050 has progressed. We published our Scope 1, 2 and 3 baseline GHG footprint in October 2022 and in May 2023 announced our detailed plans to achieve over 60% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions intensity by 2032.

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Police Suspends eMotor Registry Enforcement Following Outcries

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Kayode Egbetokun, inspector general of police, has announced the suspension of the the enforcement of electronic central motor registry registration otherwise e-CMR for vehicle owners in the country.

Police Suspends eMotor Registry Enforcement Following Outcries

Muyiwa Adejobi, force spokesperson, had on Saturday said the IG ordered that the enforcement of the e-CMR should commence on July 29.

The enforcement order sparked an outcry from Nigerians, who accused the police of creating an opportunity to extort vehicle owners.

John Aikpokpo-Martins, chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Section on Public Interest and Development Law, said the directive by Egbetokun to begin enforcing the digitised Central Motor Registry was a blatant disregard for the rule of law.

But in a statement on Sunday, Adejobi announced that the IG has suspended the enforcement of the e-CMR.

He added that there was the need to sensitise the citizens on the initiative, which he said was designed to secure vehicles.

He said, “Following the reconfiguration and commencement of the electronic central motor registry registration process the Police have deemed it necessary to highlight the benefits and effectiveness of the e-CMR initiative which is designed to ensure the safety and security of all types of vehicles including motorcycles by collating data imputed into the system by vehicle owners and acting on such to flag the vehicles if reported stolen.

“The e-CMR will provide a firsthand database to the Force for curbing vehicular crimes as dedicated officers can access real-time comprehensive data of every vehicle on their tablets.

“Similarly, the e-CMR will prevent multiple registrations of vehicles and serve as a database to collate biometric and other data of vehicle owners and individuals, adding value to the national database and incident report portal generated from other Ministries, Departments and Agencies towards general security.”

Adejobi denied that the e-CMR was a revenue-generating platform.

He said, “Furthermore, contrary to news making the rounds and insinuations about the e-CMR, the NPF wishes to state categorically that the e-CMR is not a revenue-generating platform but an initiative to digitalize policing for effectiveness and general safety of lives and property of Nigeria residents. “

Adejobi said the IG ordered the immediate suspension he had earlier given.

He stated, “The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Kayode Egbetokun has ordered an immediate suspension of the proposed enforcement of the e-CMR initially scheduled to commence on the 29th of July, 2024. This is to give ample opportunity for mass enlightenment and education of all citizens and residents on the process, benefits and effectiveness in solving the challenge of vehicle-related crimes, and protection of individual and corporate vehicle ownership.”

Adejobi sought the understanding of the citizens and key into the initiative.


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Osagie Okunbor, Shell Nigeria MD Honoured for Exemplary Leadership

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Osagie Okunbor, managing director, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, and country chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, has been recognised for his “Invaluable contributions to the  Nigerian energy sector and his service to humanity.”

Osagie Okunbor, Shell Nigeria MD Honoured for Exemplary Leadership

Former Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, and Director, Heritage for Life Foundation, Tunde Lemo (left), presenting the Foundation’s  Award for Exemplary Leadership and Service to Humanity to the Managing Director, Shell Petroleum Development Company and Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Osagie Okunbor, at a ceremony in Lagos on Thursday.

Osagie received the Award for Exemplary Leadership and Service to Humanity from a Lagos-based NGO, Heritage for Life Foundation, at a ceremony held in Lagos.

Tunde Lemo, director of the Foundation, and former deputy governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), handed out the award which he said was instituted to promote “moral qualities and attitudes pivotal to the growth of a stable and functional society” by recognising individuals who exbibit the virtues.

An elated Okunbor said: “I’m pleased at this recognition which calls for greater commitment to the highest standards of leadership and service to humanity. With the support of my colleagues and other stakeholders, I hope to continue to  contribute to the development of our country.”

The award from the foundation was the second bestowed on the longest serving Country Chair of Shell companies in Nigeria in the past month.

At the 60th anniversary of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Okunbor was conferred with the Diamond Ambassador of Brand Nigeria as part of NIPR’s Diamond Jubilee National Awards.

Presenting the award, Dr. Ike Neliaku, president and chairman of Council, NIPR noted that Okunbor earned the award having demonstrated exceptional leadership as Chairman of the largest energy company in Nigeria that had made significant contributions to the socio-economic development of Nigeria in more than seven decades.

Okunbor’s contributions to the energy sector are the highlights of a career in Shell which has seen him serve in Nigeria, the UK, Brunei and the Netherlands before his appointment as Managing Director, SPDC and Country Chair in 2015.

In May, the executive council of the Nigerian Gas Association recognised Okunbor for “outstanding contributions towards the advancement of Nigeria’s gas sector.”

 

 

 

 

 


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NNPC Cuts Investment In Dangote Refinery From 20 Percent to 7.2 Percent 

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Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited has reduced its investment in the Dangote Refinery from 20 per cent to 7.2 per cent, according to Aliko Dangote, chief executive officer, Dangote Refinery.

NNPC Cuts Investment In Dangote Refinery From 20 Percent to 7.2 Percent 

Aliko Dangote

Dangote, who made this known in Lagos on Sunday and the NNPC confirmed the development, saying it assessed its investment portfolio to align with its goals.

“NNPC no longer owns a 20 per cent stake in the Dangote refinery. They were met to pay their balance in June, but have yet to fulfil the obligations. Now, they only own a 7.2% stake in the refinery,” Dangote said.

In September 2021, NNPC had acquired a 20 per cent stake in the Dangote Refinery for $2.76 billion.

NNPC had initially financed the 20 per cent stake through a $1.036 billion funding from Lekki Refinery Funding Limited, of which $1 billion was paid to Dangote Refinery and $36 million was for transaction costs.

The remaining $1.76 billion was to be paid through a combination of a $2.5/barrel discount on 300,000 barrels per day of crude oil supplied to the refinery, and 100 per cent of NNPC’s portion of any dividends declared by the refinery.

Reacting to the statement by Dangote, the NNPC in a press release on Sunday evening, said the company “made a commercial decision to cap our investment at the amount already paid.”

“Several months ago, we made a commercial decision to cap our investment at the amount already paid. This decision was taken by NNPC Ltd and has no impact on our business.

“NNPC Limited periodically assesses its investment portfolio to ensure alignment with the company’s strategic goals.

“The decision to cap its equity participation at the paid-up sum was made and communicated to Dangote Refinery several months ago,” Olufemi Soneye, spokesman, NNPC, said in a statement on Sunday evening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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