HomeBrands

Airtel Africa Plc Results For Half Year Ended 30 September 2023

Strong and resilient operating performance across all regions despite foreign exchange headwinds, specifically in Nigeria.

Highlights

Operating key performance indicators (KPIs)

  • Total customer base grew by 9.7% to 147.7 million, as the penetration of mobile data and mobile money services continued to rise, driving a 23.0% increase in data customers to 59.8 million and a 23.1% increase in mobile money customers to 36.5 million.
  • Constant currency ARPU growth of 9.8% was driven by increased usage across voice, data and mobile money.
  • Mobile money transaction value increased by 45.3% in constant currency, with Q2’24 annualised transaction value of $116bn in reported currency.

Financial performance

  • Revenue in constant currency grew by 19.7%, with reported currency revenues up by 2.3% to $2,623m. In Q2’24, reported currency revenues declined by 4.7% reflecting a full quarter’s impact of the Nigerian naira devaluation in June 2023. Q2’24 constant currency revenues increased by 19.0%.
  • Whilst reported currency revenue growth was impacted by currency devaluation, all segments delivered double-digit constant currency revenue growth. Across the Group mobile services revenue grew by 18.3% in constant currency, driven by voice revenue growth of 11.5% and data revenue growth of 28.1%. Mobile money revenue grew by 30.9% in constant currency.
  • EBITDA increased by 21.2% in constant currency, and 3.7% in reported currency to $1,302m, with an EBITDA margin of 49.6%, reflecting a 70bps margin improvement over the prior period despite inflationary cost pressures and foreign exchange headwinds. Reported currency EBITDA declined by 3.3% in Q2’24 as the full impact of the Nigerian naira devaluation in June 2023 was incorporated.
  • Loss after tax was $13m driven largely by a foreign exchange loss of $471m recorded in finance cost before tax and $317m after tax because of the devaluation of the Nigerian naira in June 2023. This impact has been classified as an exceptional item.
  • EPS before exceptional items was 7.0 cents, an improvement of 3.2%. EPS before exceptional items and excluding foreign exchange and derivative losses was 10.7 cents. Basic EPS at negative (1.5 cents) compared to 7.9 cents in the prior period, was impacted by $317m net exceptional loss on account of naira devaluation in June 2023.

Capital allocation

  • Capex of $312m was marginally higher compared to the prior period. Capex guidance for the full year remains between $800m and $825m as we continue to invest for future growth.
  • The remaining debt at HoldCo is $550m, falling due in May 2024. Cash at the HoldCo was $495m at the end of the period and the Group is well positioned to fully repay the HoldCo debt when due. Leverage of 1.3x in September 2023, was broadly stable despite the foreign exchange impact on EBITDA as a result of the Nigerian naira devaluation in June 2023.
  • The Board has declared an interim dividend of 2.38 cents per share, an increase of 9%, in-line with our progressive dividend policy.

Sustainability strategy

  • Our landmark five-year $57m partnership with UNICEF was launched across nine of the 13 of our markets providing access to educational resources, free of charge, on our way to reaching one million children through our programmes by 2027.
  • Net zero journey continues with implementation of Scope 1 and 2 emissions reductions and development of a robust Scope 3 strategy, including stakeholder engagement.

1

Olusegun Ogunsanya, Group chief executive officer, on the trading update:

“I am pleased to report a strong operating performance for the Group despite foreign exchange headwinds in many of our markets and specifically in Nigeria. The resilient growth in voice, data and mobile money usage levels reflects the inherent demand for these essential services across our footprint, and our six-pillar’win-with’ strategy continues to ensure we capture this growth opportunity by expanding our customer base and providing the platform to enable increased usage across the network. This strong momentum is supported by continued cost efficiencies which enabled further EBITDA margin expansion.

As reported in July 2023, our results for the first quarter were significantly impacted by the changes to the FX market in Nigeria, introduced by the Central Bank. Whilst the changes are required for the long-term benefit of the Nigerian economy, the immediate impact of the naira devaluation continues to weigh on our reported financial performance in the period. Our focus remains to enhance long term value by continuing to drive sustained and efficient growth. Over the last five years we have delivered constant currency revenue and EBITDA CAGR of 17.1% and 20.7% respectively, allowing us to further de- risk the balance sheet and improve profitability across the Group.

Looking forward, the delivery of affordable and reliable telecom and mobile money services across our markets remains our key focus. Our strong operating performance continues to make us a stronger and bigger company, which is well positioned to deliver against the growth opportunities these markets offer. Despite the challenges of rising diesel prices in Nigeria, we aim to limit the impact with continued operational leverage and further cost efficiencies to deliver an improved EBITDA margin in FY’24 versus FY’23.”

Alternative performance measures (APM) 1

(Half year ended)

Sep-23Sep-22ReportedConstant
Descriptioncurrencycurrency
$m$mchangechange
Revenue2,6232,5652.3%19.7%
EBITDA1,3021,2553.7%21.2%
EBITDA margin49.6%48.9%70 bps63 bps
EPS before exceptional items ($ cents)7.06.83.2%

Operating free cash flow

9909454.8%

(1) Alternative performance measures (APM) are described on page 45.

GAAP measures (Half year ended)

Sep-23Sep-22Reported
Descriptioncurrency
$m$mchange
Revenue2,6232,5652.3%
Operating profit8858721.5%
(Loss)/Profit after tax(13)330(103.8%)
Basic EPS ($ cents)(1.5)7.9(118.5%)

Net cash generated from operating activities

1,1211,01110.8%

2

About Airtel Africa

Airtel Africa is a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services, with a 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.

Enquiries
Airtel Africa – Investor Relations
Pier Falcione+44 7446 858 280
Alastair Jones+44 7464 830 011
Investor.relations@africa.airtel.com+44 207 493 9315
Hudson Sandler
Nick Lyon
Emily Dillon
airtelafrica@hudsonsandler.com+44 207 796 4133

Conference call

Management will host an analyst and investor conference call at 12:00pm UK time (BST), on Monday 30th October 2023, including a Question-and-Answer session.

To receive an invitation with the dial in numbers to participate in the event, please register beforehand using the following link:

Conference call registration link

___________________________

Simon O’Hara

Group company secretary

3

Key consolidated financial information

Half year endedQuarter ended
DescriptionUnit of
ReportedConstantReportedConstant
measure
Sep-23Sep-22currencycurrencySep-23Sep-22currencycurrency
change %change %change %change %
Profit and loss summary
Revenue 1$m2,6232,5652.3%19.7%1,2461,308(4.7%)19.0%
Voice revenue$m1,1691,226(4.6%)11.5%548616(11.1%)11.2%
Data revenue$m9158645.9%28.1%429446(3.8%)26.6%
Mobile money revenue 2$m41633225.3%30.9%21517324.5%30.5%
Other revenue$m216216(0.0%)18.9%102110(7.2%)18.2%
Expenses$m(1,337)(1,316)1.6%19.0%(635)(671)(5.4%)18.7%
EBITDA 3$m1,3021,2553.7%21.2%620641(3.3%)20.1%
EBITDA margin%49.6%48.9%70 bps63 bps49.8%49.0%73 bps44 bps
Depreciation and amortisation$m(417)(383)8.8%27.4%(197)(195)1.1%27.5%
Operating exceptional items$m0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%
Operating profit$m8858721.5%18.5%423446(5.2%)16.9%
Other finance cost – net of$m(402)(358)12.4%(190)(206)(7.6%)
finance income
Finance cost – exceptional items 4$m(471)
Total finance cost$m(873)(358)(144.1%)(190)(206)(7.6%)
(Loss)/Profit before tax$m12516(97.7%)233240(3.1%)
Tax 5$m(179)(228)(21.5%)(95)(109)(13.2%)
Tax – exceptional items 4, 6$m15442270.0%21(100.0%)
Total tax credit/(charge)$m(25)(186)(86.7%)(95)(88)7.3%
(Loss)/Profit after tax$m(13)330(103.8%)138152(8.8%)
Non-controlling interest$m(42)(34)22.4%(23)(19)16.0%

Profit attributable to owners of the company – before exceptional items

$m

262 254 3.1%

115 112 3.3%

(Loss)/Profit attributable to$m(55)296(118.4%)115133(13.2%)
owners of the company
EPS – before exceptional itemscents7.06.83.2%3.13.02.9%
Basic EPScents(1.5)7.9(118.5%)3.13.5(13.2%)
Weighted average number ofmillion3,7513,753(0.1%)3,7513,752(0.0%)
shares
Capex$m3123100.5%1721691.3%
Operating free cash flow$m9909454.8%448472(5.0%)
Net cash generated from operating$m1,1211,01110.8%541622(13.2%)
activities
Net debt$m3,3273,2783,3273,278
Leverage (net debt to EBITDA)times1.3x1.3x1.3x1.3x
Return on capital employed%24.7%23.5%127 bps23.7%23.7%(4) bps
Operating KPIs
ARPU$3.03.2(6.2%)9.8%2.93.3(13.0%)8.6%
Total customer basemillion147.7134.79.7%147.7134.79.7%
Data customer basemillion59.848.623.0%59.848.623.0%

Mobile money customer base

million

36.5 29.7 23.1%

36.5 29.7 23.1%

  1. Revenue includes inter-segment eliminations of $93m for the half year ended 30 September 2023 and $73m for the prior period.
  2. Mobile money revenue post inter-segment eliminations with mobile services was $323m for the half year ended 30 September 2023, and $259m for the prior period.
  3. EBITDA includes other income of $16m for the half year ended 30 September 2023 and $6m for the prior period.
  4. Exceptional items of $471m for the half year ended 30 September 2023 is on account of derivative and foreign exchange losses due to Nigerian naira devaluation in June 2023 (from 465.1 NGN/USD in May 2023 to 752.2 NGN/USD in June 2023). This has resulted in an exceptional tax gain of $154m. Hence, there was a negative impact of $317m on loss after tax.
  5. The tax charge of $179m is net of a tax gain of $30m arising from reversal of deferred tax liability on account of a reduction of undistributed retained earnings of Nigeria. This reduction is an indirect consequence of a one-time exceptional foreign exchange loss of $471m. The $30m tax gain is not treated as exceptional.
  6. Tax exceptional items in the half year ended 30 September 2022 reflect the initial recognition of a deferred tax credit of $42m in Kenya.

4

Financial review for half year ended 30 September 2023

Revenue in reported currency grew by 2.3%, with constant currency growth of 19.7% for the Group. The gap in constant and reported currency revenue growth of 17.4% in H1’24 is primarily due to the impact of average currency devaluations between the periods, mainly in the Nigerian naira (51.7%), the Zambian kwacha (14.9%), the Kenyan shilling (19.3%), the Malawi kwacha (10.6%), the Madagascar ariary (8.8%) and the Tanzania shilling (4.0%), in turn, partially offset by appreciation in the Central African franc (4.9%).

Double digit constant currency revenue growth was posted across all reporting segments. In mobile services, revenue in Nigeria was up by 21.7%, East Africa up by 20.6% and Francophone Africa by 10.9%, respectively. Group mobile services revenue grew by 18.3%, with voice revenue growth of 11.5%, data revenue growth of 28.1% and other revenues growing by 19.0%. Mobile money revenue grew by 30.9% in constant currency, driven by growth of 34.9% in East Africa and 18.7% in Francophone Africa, respectively.

During the period, the Nigerian naira devalued from 461 per US dollar to 777, resulting in a 40.6% appreciation in the US dollar since 31 March 2023. The most significant part of the devaluation occurred in June 2023 when the Nigerian naira devalued to 752 NGN/USD, resulting in only a partial impact on revenue and EBITDA in the reporting period. If the closing rate of 777 NGN/USD were to be used to consolidate the results of the Group for the half year ended 30 September 2023, reported revenues would have declined by 5.1% to $2,434m, as opposed to 2.3% growth which was reported. Similarly, reported EBITDA would have declined by 4.1% to $1,204m, as opposed to the 3.7% growth reported.

The translation impact of the Nigerian naira devaluation to 777 NGN/USD over the period is expected to be between $900m and $950m on annualised revenue and between $450m and $500m on annualised EBITDA. The impact of the Nigerian naira devaluation on reported revenue and EBITDA for the period ending 30 September 2023 was $283m and $153m, respectively.

Total finance costs increased from $358m to $873m during the period. The primary driver of this increase was the $471m exceptional item reflecting the revaluation impact of USD balance sheet liabilities and derivatives in Nigeria following the naira devaluation in June 2023 (for a more detailed explanation, refer to the Q1’24 RNS). Excluding this exceptional item, finance costs increased by $44m largely as a result of increased debt in the operating entities which carries a higher average interest rate.

Total tax charges primarily reflected an exceptional gain of $154m on account of the Nigerian naira devaluation during the current period compared with the deferred tax credit of $42m in Kenya in the prior period, hence a higher exceptional gain of $112m. Tax charges excluding exceptional items was $179m compared to $228m in the prior period. Basic EPS at negative (1.5 cents) was largely impacted by the derivative and exchange loss following the Nigerian naira devaluation in June 2023. EPS before exceptional items and excluding foreign exchange and derivative losses was 10.7 cents, up by 0.2 cents.

Leverage at 1.3x was broadly unchanged. Following the prepayment of $450m bonds in July 2022, the remaining debt at HoldCo is now $550m. Cash at the HoldCo was $495m at the end of the period and the Group is well positioned to fully repay the HoldCo debt when due in May 2024. The EBITDA used to calculate the leverage ratio of 1.3x is based on the last 12 months to September 2023 and, therefore, does not fully incorporate the impact from the devaluation of the Nigerian naira. On a 12 months basis, after including the impact of the Nigeria naira devaluation seen to date on both the P&L and balance sheet, the leverage ratio is expected to be between 1.3x and 1.4x.

GAAP measures

Revenue

Reported revenue increased to $2,623m, up by 2.3% in reported currency, and by 19.7% in constant currency driven by both customer base growth of 9.7% and ARPU growth of 9.8%. Reported revenues declined by 4.7% in Q2’24 reflecting the full impact of the Nigerian naira devaluation in June 2023. The constant currency revenue growth was partially offset by average currency devaluations between the periods, mainly in the Nigerian naira (51.7%), the Zambian kwacha (14.9%), the Kenyan shilling (19.3%), the Malawi kwacha (10.6%), the Madagascar ariary (8.8%) and the Tanzania shilling (4.0%) in turn partially offset by appreciation in the Central African franc (4.9%).

5

Mobile services revenue grew by 18.3% in constant currency, supported by growth of 21.7% in Nigeria, 20.6% in East Africa and 10.9% in Francophone Africa, respectively. Mobile money revenue grew by 30.9% in constant currency, driven by revenue growth in East Africa of 34.9% and Francophone Africa of 18.7%.

During the period, the Nigerian naira devalued from 461 per US dollar to 777, resulting in a 40.6% appreciation in the US dollar since 31 March 2023. The most significant part of the devaluation occurred in June 2023 when the Nigerian naira devalued to 752NGN/USD, resulting in only a partial impact on revenues for the reporting period. If the closing rate of 777 NGN/USD were to be used to consolidate the results of the Group for the half year ended 30 September 2023, reported revenues would have declined by 5.1% to $2,434m, as opposed to 2.3% growth which was reported.

The translation impact of the Nigerian naira devaluation to 777 NGN/USD over the period is expected to be between $900m and $950m on annualised revenue. The Nigerian naira devaluation impacted revenues by $283m during the period ended 30 September 2023.

Operating profit

Operating profit in reported currency increased by 1.5% to $885m as a result of revenue growth and continued improvements in operating efficiency across the Group.

Net finance costs

Net finance costs (including loss on foreign exchange and derivatives and an exceptional item due to the Nigerian naira devaluation in June 2023) increased by $515m to $873m in the half year. Of the $515m, $471m related to the Nigerian naira devaluation in June 2023 which has been reported as an exceptional item. Adjusting for this exceptional item, net finance costs (including loss on foreign exchange and derivatives) increased by $44m, largely driven by higher interest on market debt predominantly resulting from spectrum acquisitions and licence renewal payments made over the last year and higher interest on lease liabilities.

The Group’s effective interest rate increased to 8.8% compared to 6.4% in the prior period, largely driven by higher local currency debt at the OpCo level, in line with our strategy to move more debt into our operating entities.

Taxation

Total tax charges reflected an exceptional gain of $154m on account of the Nigerian naira devaluation during the current half year compared with deferred tax credit of $42m in Kenya in the prior period, hence a higher exceptional gain of $112m. Tax charges excluding exceptional items was $179m as compared to $228m in the prior period. The tax charge of $179m is net of a tax gain of $30m arising from the reversal of deferred tax liability on account of a reduction of undistributed retained earnings of Nigeria. This reduction is an indirect consequence of the impact of the Nigerian naira devaluation. Total tax charges were $25m as compared to $186m in the prior period.

Profit after tax

Profit after tax was negative ($13m) largely driven by $654m of foreign exchange and derivative losses as a result of the revaluation of foreign currency liabilities in the OpCos. In particular, the devaluation of the Nigerian naira in June 2023 resulted in a foreign exchange loss of $317m after tax. The impact of the Nigerian naira devaluation has been classified as an exceptional item. Excluding the impact of these exceptional items, profit after tax would be $304m, compared to $288m in the prior period.

Basic EPS

Basic EPS at negative (1.5 cents), as compared to 7.9 cents in the prior period, was impacted by $317m net exceptional loss on account of naira devaluation in the month of June 2023. EPS before exceptional items and excluding foreign exchange and derivative losses was 10.7 cents. During the period we benefitted from a $30m one-off gain arising from reversal of deferred tax liability on account of the reduction of undistributed retained earnings of Nigeria. This reduction is an indirect consequence of the impact of the Nigerian naira devaluation.

6

Net cash generated from operating activities

Net cash generated from operating activities was $1,121m, 10.8% higher than the $1,011m of the prior period. This was largely due to lower cash tax payments (higher tax payment in last year due to higher dividend tax) and higher operating cash flows.

Alternative performance measures1

EBITDA

EBITDA increased to $1,302m, up by 3.7% in reported currency, and by 21.2% in constant currency. Growth in EBITDA was led by revenue growth and supported by continued improvement in operating efficiencies which more than offset inflationary cost pressures. The EBITDA margin improved by 70 basis points in reported currency to 49.6%. In Q2’24, EBITDA margins did benefit from a 15% reduction in Nigerian diesel prices compared to the prior period.

Foreign exchange had an adverse impact of $345m on revenue, and $165m on EBITDA, as a result of average currency devaluations, mainly in the Nigerian naira (51.7%), the Zambian kwacha (14.9%), the Kenyan shilling (19.3%), the Malawi kwacha (10.6%), the Madagascar ariary (8.8%) and the Tanzania shilling (4.0%) in turn partially offset by appreciation in the Central African franc (4.9%).

During the period, the Nigerian naira devalued from 461 per US dollar to 777, resulting in a 40.6% appreciation in the US dollar since 31 March 2023. The most significant part of the devaluation occurred in June 2023, when the Nigerian naira devalued to 752 NGN/USD, resulting in only a partial impact on EBITDA for the reporting period. If the closing rate of 777 NGN/USD were to be used to consolidate the results of the Group for the half year ended 30 September 2023, reported EBITDA would have declined by 4.1% to $1,204m, as opposed to 3.7% growth which was reported.

The translation impact of the Nigerian naira devaluation to 777 NGN/USD during the period is expected to be between $450m and $500m on annualised EBITDA. The impact of the Nigerian naira devaluation on reported EBITDA for the period ending 30 September 2023 was $153m.

With respect to currency devaluation sensitivity going forward, on a 12-month basis, a further 1% USD appreciation across all currencies in our OpCos would have a negative impact of $49m on revenues, $24m on EBITDA and $19m on finance costs (excluding derivatives). Our largest exposure is to the Nigerian naira, for which a further 1% USD appreciation would have a negative impact of $14m on revenues, $8m on EBITDA and $7m on finance costs (excluding derivatives). This sensitivity analysis assumes the USD appreciation occurs at the beginning of the period.

For detailed disclosure on the currency devaluation risk posed to the Group, see ‘Risk Factors’.

Tax

The effective tax rate was 39.0%, compared to 39.4% in the prior period, largely due to profit mix changes amongst the OpCos and the lower impact of withholding taxes on dividends. The effective tax rate is higher than the weighted average statutory corporate tax rate of approximately 33%, largely due to the profit mix between various OpCos and withholding taxes on dividends by subsidiaries.

Exceptional items

The exceptional item of $471m is on account of derivative and foreign exchange losses following the Nigerian naira devaluation in June 2023 (from 465 NGN/USD in May 2023 to 752 NGN/USD in Jun 2023). This has resulted in an exceptional tax gain of $154m. Tax exceptional items in the previous period benefited from the initial recognition of a deferred tax credit of $42m in Kenya.

EPS before exceptional items

EPS before exceptional items was at 7.0 cents, 3.2% higher compared to 6.8 cents in the prior period. Current period EPS was negatively impacted due to higher finance cost including foreign exchange and derivative losses. EPS before exceptional items and excluding foreign exchange and derivative losses was 10.7 cents, up by 0.2 cents. During the period we benefitted

1 Alternative performance measures (APM) are described on page 45.

7

from a $30m one-off gain arising from reversal of deferred tax liability on account of the reduction of undistributed retained earnings of Nigeria. This reduction is an indirect consequence of the impact of the Nigerian naira devaluation.

Operating free cash flow

Operating free cash flow was $990m, up by 4.8%, as a result of higher EBITDA during the period. Capital expenditure during the period of $312m was marginally higher compared to the prior period.

Leverage

Leverage (net debt to EBITDA) at 1.3x in September 2023 was stable over the prior period despite $500m of spectrum investment in the last fiscal year and the renewal of the 2100 MHz spectrum licence in Nigeria in the period. Following the prepayment of $450m bonds in July 2022, the remaining debt at HoldCo is now $550m, falling due in May 2024. Cash at HoldCo was $495m at the end of the period and the Group is well positioned to fully repay the HoldCo debt when due.

The EBITDA used to calculate the leverage ratio of 1.3x is based on the last 12 months and, therefore, does not fully incorporate the impact from the devaluation of the Nigerian naira. On a 12 months basis, after including the impact of the Nigerian naira devaluation seen to date on both the P&L and balance sheet, the leverage ratio is expected to be between 1.3x and 1.4x.

Other significant updates

Nigerian naira devaluation

On 14 June 2023, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced changes to the operations in the Nigerian Foreign Exchange (FX) market, including the abolishment of segmentation, with all segments now collapsing into the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window and the reintroduction of the ‘Willing Buyer, Willing Seller’ model at the I&E window. As a result of the CBN decision, the US dollar has appreciated against the Nigerian naira in the I&E window. The market expectation is that the new foreign currency policy and subsequent realignment of the several market exchange rates will provide greater US dollar liquidity over time and help to alleviate the challenges faced in the last few years to access US dollars in the market.

The Group continues to invest in Nigeria to enable it to capture the growth opportunity. This continued investment will facilitate growth, drive continued digitalisation across the country, facilitate economic progress and transform lives across Nigeria.

Nigeria 2100 MHz spectrum renewal

On 9 May 2023, the Group announced that its Nigerian subsidiary, Airtel Networks Limited (‘Airtel Nigeria’), had made a payment of NGN58.7bn ($127.4m), payable to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), to renew its 2x10MHz 2100 MHz spectrum licence, which will be valid for a period of 15 years following the expiry of the previous licence (30 April 2022).

This investment to renew the licence reflects our continued confidence in the opportunity inherent across the Nigerian market, supporting the local communities and economies through furthering digital inclusion and connectivity.

Uganda spectrum

The regulator had previously issued an invitation to apply for spectrum in various bands (700, 800, 2300, 2600, 3300, 3500, etc). On 7 June 2023, Airtel Uganda has submitted its application for acquisition of additional spectrum of 10 MHz in 800 band, 100 MHz in 3500 band and 500 MHz in E-band along with a bank guarantee of $1.5m. There is no upfront payout for spectrum but, instead, there is an annual payout of $1.2m for a period of 17 years, which is the validity period for the spectrum. On 26 June 2023, the Uganda Communications Commission confirmed that Airtel Uganda Limited had qualified for the award of the 800 MHz and 3500 MHz spectrum.

Uganda IPO update

Under Article 16 of Uganda’s National Telecom Operator (‘NTO’) licence, Airtel Uganda Limited is obliged to comply with the sector policy, regulations and guidelines requiring the listing of part of its shares on the Uganda Stock Exchange. The current Uganda Communications (Fees & Fines) (Amendment) Regulations 2020, creates a public listing obligation for all

8

NTO licensees, and specifies that 20% of the shares of the operator must be listed within two years of the date of the effective date of the licence. Airtel Uganda applied for an extension of listing date and was granted a 1-year extension to 16 December 2023.

On 29 August 2023, Airtel Uganda Limited issued a prospectus in relation to the offer for sale of 8,000,000,000 ordinary shares, representing 20% of Airtel Uganda Limited. The listing of Airtel Uganda Limited will be on the Main Investment Market Segment of the Uganda Securities Exchange. The offer closed on 27 October 2023, with the announcement of allocation on 6 November 2023, and the admission to listing on 7 November 2023.

Further details on the Uganda IPO can be found at https://www.airtel.co.ug/ipo-ug.

Share capital reduction

On 15 August 2023, Airtel Africa announced the cancellation and extinction of all of its deferred shares of USD 0.50 nominal value each (the ‘capital reduction’), which was approved by shareholders at the annual general meeting of the Company held on 4 July 2023. The cancellation and extinction was sanctioned by the High Court of England and Wales (the ‘High Court’). The effect of the capital reduction is to create additional distributable reserves which will be available to the company going forward and may be used to facilitate returns to shareholders in the future, whether in the form of dividends, distributions or purchases of the company’s own shares.

The company confirms that, following the capital reduction, the issued share capital of the company will be 3,758,151,504 ordinary shares of USD 0.50 nominal value each, carrying one vote each. There are no shares held in treasury. The total voting rights in the company therefore will be 3,758,151,504.

Dividend payment timetable

The board has declared an interim dividend of 2.38 cents per share for the period ended 30 September 2023, payable on 15 December 2023 to shareholders recorded in the register at the close of business on 10 November 2023.

Last day to trade shares cum dividend8 November 2023
Shares commence trading ex-dividend9 November 2023
Record date10 November 2023
Currency election date27 November 2023
Payment date15 December 2023

Information on additional KPIs

An investor relations pack with information on the additional KPIs and balance sheet is available to download on our website at airtel.africa/investors

9

Strategic overview

The Group provides telecoms and mobile money services in 14 emerging markets of sub-Saharan Africa. Our markets are characterised by huge geographies with relatively sparse populations, high population growth rates, high proportions of youth, low smartphone penetration, low data penetration and relatively unbanked populations. Unique mobile user penetration across the Group’s footprint is around 48%, and banking penetration remains under 50%. These indicators illustrate the significant opportunity still available to Airtel Africa to enhance both digital and financial inclusion in the communities we serve, enriching and transforming their lives through digitalisation, whilst at the same time growing our revenues profitably across each of our key services of voice, data and mobile money.

The Group continues to invest in its network and distribution infrastructure to enhance both mobile connectivity and financial inclusion across our countries of operation. In particular, we continued to invest in expanding our 4G network footprint to increase data capacity in our networks to support future business growth, as well as deploying new sites, especially in rural areas, to enhance coverage and connectivity.

We describe our ‘win with’ strategy through six strategic pillars. Our customers are at the core of our strategy, through our corporate purpose of transforming lives.

Our focus on digitalisation, of our products and services as well as our internal systems and processes, increasingly functions as a catalyst, or an ‘accelerator’, for each of our strategic pillars.

Underpinning the Group’s business strategy for growth is our sustainability strategy which supports our well-established corporate purpose of transforming lives, our continued commitment to driving sustainable development and acting as a responsible business. Our sustainability strategy sets out our goals and commitments to foster financial inclusion, bridge the digital divide and serve more customers in some of the least penetrated telecommunication markets in the world.

This year, we continued to make strong progress across each of our core strategic pillars: ‘Win with technology’, ‘Win with distribution’, ‘Win with data’, ‘Win with mobile money’, ‘Win with cost’ and ‘Win with people’.

Win with technology

The Group remains focused on delivering best-in-class services, expanding 4G networks and launched new 5G technology in key markets including Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia by investing in 5G spectrum. Reaching underserved communities is a key priority, and we continue to increase rural coverage through new site rollouts, additional spectrum and new technology investments across our markets – despite inflationary challenges during the year.

As part of ensuring our services are future ready, in addition to purchasing spectrum, we grew our fibre infrastructure and tested our 5G capabilities. After exploring the potential for additional third-party revenue streams, we have invested in data centres to further support digital inclusion across our markets. We continued to strengthen our fibre business, which is now delivering encouraging revenue growth. During the year we added a further 5,000 km of fibre, with a total of 73,600 km now deployed. Additionally, we expanded our international data capacity via submarine cables by 100%.

Overall, the capacity investment has resulted in a 48.8% increase in data capacity – reaching 28,200+ terabytes (TB) per day, with peak hour data utilisation at 48.3% allowing for increased network resilience and an enriched service continuity.

The Group has continued to invest in spectrum across several markets which will underpin its growth ambitions. In Nigeria, we acquired 5G spectrum in the 3500 MHz band, and also added to our 2600 MHz spectrum. We also acquired spectrum in Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Kenya, Malawi, the DRC, and the Seychelles, which will help us to maximise network capacity and coverage.

Following substantial spectrum acquisitions over the last year, we further invested in the renewal of 2100 MHz spectrum in Nigeria during the period. Continued investment into spectrum across our markets will further enhance network capacity and coverage.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 0
DISQUS: 0
%d bloggers like this: