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Airtel Africa Grows Customer Base by 11.0 Percent to 118.9 Million in Q3

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Airtel Africa - Investors King

Airtel Africa Grows Customer Base by 11.0 Percent to 118.9 Million in Q3

Airtel Africa Plc, Africa’s leading telecommunications giant, on Friday announced it grew revenue by 13.8 percent to $2,870 million and customer base by 11 percent to 118.9 million in the third quarter (Q3) ended December 31, 2020.

Airtel Africa Key Highlights

  • Reported revenue increased by 13.8% to $2,870m with Q3’21 reported revenue growth of 19.5%.
  • Constant currency underlying revenue growth was 18.6%, with Q3’21 growth of 22.8%. Growth for the nine months was recorded across all regions: Nigeria up 21.6%, East Africa up 23.4% and Francophone Africa up 8.0%; and across all services, with voice revenue up 10.4%, data up 31.1% and mobile money up 34.2%.
  • Underlying EBITDA for the nine months was $1,297m, up 16% in reported currency while constant currency underlying EBITDA growth was 22.5%.
  • Underlying EBITDA margin for the nine months was 45.5%, up by 118 bps (up 144 bps in constant currency). Q3’21 underlying EBITDA margin was 46.9%.
  • Operating profit increased by 21.8% to $800m in reported currency, and by 29.9% in constant currency.
  • Free cash flow was $466m, up 20% compared to the same period last year.
  • Basic EPS was 5.5 cents, down 36.5%, largely due to prior year exceptional items and a one-off derivative gain. Excluding these, basic EPS rose by 19.8%. EPS before exceptional items was 5.0 cents.
  • Customer base up 11.0% to 118.9 million, with increased penetration across mobile data (customer base up 23.5%) and mobile money services (customer base up 29.0%). 2.5 million customers were added in Q3’21.

Raghunath Mandava, chief executive officer, on the trading update: “Our nine-month performance reflects both the resilience of our business model through the Covid-19 pandemic and, for the last six months, a continued improvement in our execution and performance as lockdown restrictions have eased across our countries of operation.

“I am particularly pleased with our performance in the latest third quarter, which has demonstrated accelerated growth in both revenue and underlying EBITDA in constant currency to 22.8% and 28.3% respectively.

“In part this is due to our continued delivery of strong customer growth in Q3, despite the introduction mid-December of additional customer registration requirements in Nigeria. This has meant a temporary halt to the ability of all operators in the country to onboard new customers. But we are working closely with the government to ensure that all our subscribers provide their valid National Identification Numbers (NINs) and update their SIM registration records, such that disruption is minimised.

“Our performance improvement is evident across the business. Regionally, I am pleased to see that the continued strong revenue growth in Nigeria and East Africa, growing 21.6% and 23.4% in constant currency, is increasingly being matched by improvements across Francophone Africa, posting 8.0% growth for the period and 15.0% in Q3. Our rollout into rural markets, along with robust customer growth, helped voice grow 10%, while data and mobile money continued to be growth engines, with over 30% growth.

“Finally, while the Covid-19 pandemic has had little impact on our most recent quarter, we remain vigilant about the recent news flow around new strains of the virus and further actions by governments to minimise contagion in our countries of operation. The opportunities for sustainable profitable growth from our underpenetrated markets for both mobile and mobile money services remain hugely attractive, and we are confident of continuing to deliver on our growth strategy.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Technology

Softcom Announces Day X, The Launch of Intuitive Solutions For Businesses

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SoftCom Day X - Investors King

Softcom has announced the launch of new intuitive solutions and initiatives the company has built to accelerate inclusion and growth for Africans which will be happening on Day X: July 29, 2021.

The company states that it has thoroughly examined the state of society and what sustainable growth looks like for people and businesses and has designed products and platforms focusing on unlocking the inherent potential that exists in every individual.

Day X will expose us to an ecosystem of tools that will empower business owners to sell better, sell more, identify people, control their money and make better decisions. Initiatives and platforms have also been designed with the entrepreneur to enable ambitious and early-stage businesses to position themselves for rapid growth.

Softcom also states that its crucial strategy is to make these human-centered solutions accessible to all entrepreneurs who are dreamers and those who have begun to take action. This ability to deliver value and innovation of active or passive entrepreneurs within any society will ultimately contribute to its people and businesses’ collective growth and advancement.

In his newly released letter to the public, Yomi Adedeji, CEO of Softcom X, wrote; ”Our ultimate goal is to create an open world with equitable access to intuitive solutions that address the most basic human needs and by doing so enable societal development, business growth and human prosperity.”

Day X will provide answers to questions entrepreneurs ask, no matter the size of their ambition and help them commence their journey of leveraging these human-centered tools to drive transformational growth for themselves and society at large.

Day X will take place virtually. To find out more about Softcom and register for Day X, visit here

About Softcom
Softcom is a 14-year-old company with experience in innovation, technology solutions for businesses and enabling access at scale.

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Social Media

FG To Lift Suspension On Twitter Once It Registers With NBC and CAC

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Twitter Tip Jar- Investorsking

The Nigerian government will lift the suspension of Twitter, the microblogging platform once the digital social media app registers with the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

According to an affidavit deposed to by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation in response to a suit filed by a human rights lawyer, the government said Twitter would not have been suspended if it complied with Nigeria’s laws.

The affidavit deposed by Ilop Lawrence on behalf of the Federal Government and the AGF, it was stated that the suspension of Twitter was not an abuse of human rights because Nigerians were still using Twitter despite the suspension.

The government told the court that the Twitter suspension would be lifted once the platform registers with the NBC and the Corporate Affairs Commission.

The government had on June 4, 2021, suspended Twitter barely two days after the social media platform censored a tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Subsequently, the AGF, Abubakar Malami threatened to prosecute Nigerians still using the platform while NBC ordered all radio and television stations to stop using Twitter or picking content from the platform.

Human Rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, subsequently sued the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, Malami, and the Federal Government for suspending the social media platform.

In the fundamental human rights suit marked FHC/L/CS/542/2021, Effiong is seeking nine reliefs, including an order of perpetual injunction restraining the respondents from further suspending, deactivating, or banning the operation and accessibility of Twitter or any other social media service in Nigeria because the act was in violation of his rights.

Effiong asked the court to declare as illegal the threat of criminal prosecution by Malami and Lai Mohammed against Nigerians who ‘violate’ the suspension or ban of Twitter, despite the absence of any written law.

But in its response to the originating motion, the government said Nigerians are still using the microblogging platform despite the suspension placed on the app.

“The applicant (Effiong) and the class he seeks to represent can still operate those Twitter accounts from anywhere in the world and even from Nigeria.

“Nigerians are still tweeting, even at this moment as the ban on Twitter is not aimed at intimidating Nigerians or an infringement on the rights of Nigerians to express their opinion.

“The respondents (Federal Government and AGF) have never stopped the applicant (Effiong) and the class of persons he seeks to represent from voicing their opinions to access government information and offer criticism where necessary,” the government said in the affidavit.

The government told the court that Nigerians are still free to use other platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook, Tiktok and others.

The Federal Government also denied knowledge of Twitter censoring Buhari’s tweet on the Biafra civil which offended many Nigerians.

It said Twitter had made its platform accessible to elements like Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra; and had supported the #EndSARS protests of October 2020 which was later hijacked by hoodlums.

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Startups

Health Tech Startup 54gene Launches Trust to Amplify Africa’s Capacity in Scientific Research

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54gene Lab

54gene, the health technology company centered on advancing the field of African genomics to unlock scientific discoveries as well as improve diagnostic and treatment outcomes within Africa and the global community, is creating a trust which it will use to invest up to 5 percent of future proceeds from the company’s commercial drug discovery program.

The creation of the trust is part of its Commitment to Africa in establishing a more sustainable and thriving cyclical ecosystem across Africa’s scientific development space, as well as ensuring better quality healthcare delivery for the communities in which the company operates.

54gene is focused on creating a pipeline of novel drugs for global populations, based on insights drawn from the healthcare and research ecosystem in Africa and wants to ensure that the 1.5 billion people in Africa benefit from its endeavors.

While ensuring Ethical, Legal, Social Implication (ELSI) guidelines are rigorously followed, 54gene is focused on advancing better health outcomes for global populations through precision medicine and addressing the unmet need for novel therapeutics in healthcare.

The company has created a proprietary platform that powers drug discovery through its substantial bio- and data-repository of deeply phenotyped and diverse datasets. It has the potential to power understanding across multiple disease areas such as cancers, neurodegenerative diseases, sickle cell, autoimmune and rare diseases, and infectious diseases.

The new trust has been designed to enable a consistent provision of better diagnostics and medicines for Africans as well as amplifying capacity building within the scientific research space across Africa.

“The biggest challenge in drug discovery in Africa is adequate infrastructure and the extensive need for capacity building.

“As we work on delivering on our promise of precision medicine for Africans and the global population, we are striving to ensure that our work involves current African scientists and leaders in the field as well as supports the creation of more skilled Africans in science and additional jobs across the continent.

“This initiative is designed to continue fostering partnerships within the African scientific body, to reflect the leadership of Africans in global drug discovery research, and to generate sustainable healthcare delivery systems that will ultimately benefit African communities participating in the scientific work that advances better outcomes for all.

It is the inclusion of African talent that will make our drug discovery work successful in bridging the disparity gap within genomics data. Africa has the ability to contribute far beyond the 1 percent in global drug discovery that is currently taking place within the continent, and we believe 54gene will help accelerate those contributions.“

The 54gene trust will be managed by an advisory committee. As the company’s commercial operations grow, the demonstrated Commitment to Africa and creation of the trust will ensure an African footprint and sustainable growth in global drug discovery across the continent.

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