Airtel Africa Increase Customer Base by 11.8% to 111.5 Million
Airtel Africa Plc, one of Africa’s leading telecommunications companies, on Thursday reported a 11.8 percent increase in customer base to 111.5 million for the second quarter of 2020.
Airtel grew revenue by 6.9 percent $851 million, while constant currency revenue growth expanded by 13 percent.
In the financial statement released on the website of the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Friday, the telecom giant said it recorded constant currency revenue growth across key business segments, with voice revenue rising by 2.2 percent and data expanding by 35.7 percent during the quarter.
The company said its mobile money segment grew by 26.3 percent in the second quarter of the year.
Key Highlights of the Quarter
- Underlying EBITDA increased by 7.9% to $375m, with constant currency growth of 14.6%
- Reported underlying EBITDA margin was 44.1%, up by 40 bps(61 bpsin constant currency)
- Operating profit increased by 12.9% to $210m, an increase of 21.5% in constant currency
- Free cash flow was $96m compared to $62m in the same period last year
- Earnings per share (EPS) before exceptional items was $1.0 cents and basic EPS was $1.1 cents
- Net debt to underlying EBITDA was 2.2x, compared to 3.0x in June 2019
Commenting on the performance, Raghunath Mandava, Chief Executive Officer, said: “During last quarter our business was impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, as restrictions on movements of people and ways of socialising were introduced to contain the spread of infection. In these unprecedented times, we have worked with governments, regulators, partners, and suppliers to keep customers and businesses connected as well as supporting the economies and communities. We focussed on expanding and maintaining our network to ensure it could cope with increasing demand, we kept our distribution up and running by increasing the penetration of digital recharges and stock levels, and we expanded our home broadband solutions to ensure customers could work and access entertainment remotely.
Covid-19 impacted customer usage pattern, particularly during the month of April, however, as some of these restrictions started to be lifted, customer usage trends in May and June returned to being broadly consistent with pre Covid-19 trends. The Group’s performance generally reflected these trends, with revenue growth accelerating in May, and we ended the quarter with 13% revenue growth and 61 bps of EBITDA margin expansion in constant currency. The business showed its resilience even during these unprecedent circumstances with all key business segments – voice, data and mobile money, and all regions – Nigeria, East Africa and Francophone Africa contributing to growth.
During the quarter we also increased our support of the communities where we operate by providing financial support towards essential workers, free data for educational purposes and we worked together with governments to temporarily waive fees on certain mobile money transactions. We also created an exciting partnership with UNICEF to provide children with access to remote learning and enable access to cash assistance for their families via mobile cash transfers.
The outlook remains uncertain, particularly regarding a so called potential second wave of infections and the actions governments will decide to take in that event. However, these results are further evidence of the growth opportunities our markets offer and the effectiveness of our strategy to focus on winning customers, investing in our network and expanding our voice, data and mobile money businesses.”
CEOs of Major Tech Companies Have Sold Over $6 Billion of Their Stocks in 2021
Data acquired and calculated by Finbold indicates that CEOs of the five selected major tech firms have sold $6.36 billion worth of shares between January 1 and May 10, 2021.
Jeff Bezos leads, having offloaded AMZN shares worth $4.9 billion. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has sold $1.2 billion of his stock. Cumulatively, the two executives have offloaded $6.1 billion worth of shares from their respective companies.
Elsewhere, Nvidia CEO Huang Jen Hsun has sold $77.28 million worth of shares to rank third. Microsoft chief executive Nadella Satya has offloaded $65.44 million of MSFT stock, while Alphabet’s Pichai Sundar has sold $33.05 million. Among the top tech companies, only Tesla and Apple CEOs have not sold any of their stock in 2021.
Insider selling follows a surge in tech stocks
The highlighted companies have recorded a spike in the stock value over the past year, and the research report notes that:
“The sales come in the wake of tech sector stocks surging to new highs amid the coronavirus pandemic. In the pandemic, with wide-scale lockdowns, the companies run by the CEOs played a key role by offering services and products to help people manage the effects of the health crisis. The attention on these services drives the stock prices to record levels.”
Although insider trading is increasing in popularity, the activity is an essential indicator for investors to predict future price movement.
Overall, insider trades offer the overall market and investor outlook. When a single executive increases selling activity but others hold their shares, it does not call for alarm among investors.
MTN Nigeria Resumes SIM Card Sales, Activation
MTN Nigeria has resumed the sales of SIM cards across the nation, according to the latest report from the leading telecommunications company.
In a statement released on Monday, MTN Nigeria said customers can walk into any of the stores listed below to buy and activate their SIM cards.
Customers are therefore advised to visit with their National Identity Number (NIN) and any of their voter’s card, driver’s license and international passport.
The statement reads “We are delighted to inform you that SIM card sales have commenced in some select MTN stores.
“Simply walk into any of the stores listed below to buy and activate your SIM.
“Thank you for choosing MTN
“To make your experience at our store seamless and make the process faster, please be kind to come with the following:
1. Your National Identity Number (NIN) is mandatory by law for registering and activating your new SIM.
2. In addition, please come along with any one of these valid, government issued IDs:
i. Your NIN slip
ii. Your Voter’s Card
iii. Your Driver’s License
iv. Your international passport.
SIM registration cannot be done by proxy.
If you do not yet have a NIN, please click on this link Enrolment Centres – CUSTOMER NIN CAPTURE (mtnonline.com) to find the nearest enrollment center
“We look forward to seeing you, and welcoming you to the Yello Family soon!”
MTN Nigeria Issues First Telco Bond in Nigeria
Regarded as the second-largest corporate bond issuance in Nigeria’s history. Leading telecommunications company, MTN Nigeria has announced the successful issuance of N110 billion Series 1, 7-Year 13.0% Fixed Rate Bonds due 2028, (Series I Bond) under its N200 billion Bond Issuance Programme.
This new development marks MTN Nigeria’s debut in the domestic bond market and makes it the first Nigeria’s telecommunication company to achieve this feat with the Series I bond being the largest corporate bond issuance in the debt capital markets thus far in 2021. The signing ceremony took place at MTN’s corporate head office on Thursday May 6, 2021.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, Bolaji Balogun, CEO Chapel Hill Denham (the lead issuing House/Bookrunner); said “We are extremely thankful to MTN Nigeria for the opportunity to deliver on a transaction of this magnitude especially in difficult market and economic conditions. We are proud to be associated with the MTNN’s success story. It is the second largest bond issuance in our market and the largest issuance this year. In the coming days, it will be clear that we all did some incredible work together. I am really proud to have worked with all of these colleagues that you chose to work alongside with us.”
Commenting on the bond issuance, Karl Toriola, CEO, MTN Nigeria said “We live in testing times and we can’t take for granted that we work in an industry that first of all allows us to enhance and serve the society and allows us to continue to sustain ourselves, our families and contribute a great share to the Federal Government of Nigeria’s economic development policies.”
“I want to thank everybody for the work done in preparing all the documentation and securing approvals for the relevant capital market regulatory authorities. I am aware of the level of commitment that has gone into this. It will help secure MTN’s future in terms of having predictable funding and cost of capital structure going forward, diversifying its funding sources and help in the joint agenda that my team and I have set in being bold in creating opportunities for Nigerians. It also reaffirms our standing both in the capital market and the larger society that we operate in,” he added.
Chapel Hill Denham Advisory Limited acted as the Lead Issuing House while Stanbic IBTC Capital, DLM Advisory, FCMB Capital Markets, FBNQuest Merchant Bank, Rand Merchant Bank, and Vetiva Capital Management acted as Joint Issuing Houses.
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