Airtel Africa Plc has reported improved performance for the half year (H1) ended September 30, 2019 and also declared an interim dividend. The telecommunications giant, posted revenue of $1.64 billion, showing an increase of $1.513 billion in the corresponding period of 2018. The company reduced its net financing cost, from $218 million to $148 million, thereby boosting its bottom-line. Specifically, Airtel Africa Plc ended the H1 with a profit before tax (PBT) with 316 million, compared with $122 million, while profit after tax (PAT) rose by 11.8 per cent to $228 million to $204 million.
Based on the results, the board has recommended an interim dividend of $0.03 per share. The telecommunications firm also made a significant progress by reducing its net debts to $3.191 billion, from $6.439 billion.
Commenting on the results, Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Africa Plc, Raghunath Mandava said these figures underlined the strength of the company's ability to consistently deliver growth across voice, data and mobile money.
"In the first six months of this financial year, we delivered revenue growth of 11.4 per cent in constant currency terms, with even higher underlying Earnings before interest depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) growth as we continued to improve our operating leverage and tight focus on costs. This performance underlines our ability to consistently grow in double digits, powered by our growth engines of Data and Airtel Money growing at 37 per cent and 46 per cent respectively," he said.
According to him, in July they reached an important milestone as they crossed 100 million customers across our footprint, noting that their investments ahead of the industry in LTE network along with their simple and intuitive customer journeys have helped grow data consumption by 81 per cent and data revenue growth by 37.8 per cent.
"Over the last 6 months we launched 4G services in Democratic Republic of Congo and Niger, and 4G sites now account for 58 per cent of total sites. Now we are ready to launch in Tanzania, thereby making 4G services available across all our 14 countries. Revenue in our Mobile Money business grew 46.5 per cent in H1 and just above 50 per cent in second quarter (Q2), as a result of compelling customer propositions and the investments in our exclusive franchise stores and Kiosks," Mandava said.
He said the company entered exciting partnerships with Mastercard, Ecobank and Finablr which will help to further support the company's growth aspiration and drive financial inclusion.