Airtel Africa, one of Africa’s leading telecommunications companies, grew revenue by 13.0% to $1,257 million in the first half of 2022.
The company disclosed this in its unaudited financial statement released last week and accessed by Investors King.
According to the company, total revenues (both for mobile services and mobile money services combined) rose by 18.3% in Nigeria, 14.1% in East Africa and 11.7% in Francophone Africa.
Airtel recorded revenue growth in constant currency across all four operating regions.
For instance for Mobile Services revenue, the company reported 18.3% growth in Nigeria, 11.1% in East Africa and 10.6% in Francophone Africa (and across the Group by 14.2%, with voice revenue up by 11.3% and data revenue up by 19.8%).
Mobile Money revenue grew by 26.5%, driven by growth of 26.9% in East Africa and 25.4% in Francophone Africa.
The company’s total customer base increased by 8.9% to 131.6 million with increased penetration across mobile data (customer base up 9.7%) and mobile money services (customer base up 19.7%).
Operating free cash flow grew by 10.3% to $473m, while net cash generated from operating activities reduced by 13.2% to $388m, mainly due to increased cash tax payments from both higher taxes on declared dividends and increased taxable profits.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) grew by 14.9% to $614m in reported currency. EBITDA margin was 48.8%, an increase of 78 basis points in reported currency and 52 basis points in constant currency.
The company’s operating profit grew by 20.6% to $425m in reported currency while profit after tax grew by 25.3% to $178m.
Segun Ogunsanya, chief executive officer, on the trading update: “I am pleased to report that the Group has continued to post double-digit revenue growth, margin improvement and strong earnings growth. I am also particularly pleased with our ongoing strengthening of the balance sheet which continued after the period ended, with early repayment of $450m of debt at Group level.
“As we flagged in our full year announcement, this quarter we have faced headwinds from outbound voice call barring for customers who had not yet registered their National Identification Numbers in Nigeria and the loss of site sharing revenue in those OpCos where we recently sold towers. Inflation is also having an impact on our cost base, particularly on energy costs, but our continued efficiency drives have ensured that we have still been able to increase our margins, albeit at a slightly slower rate.
“After receiving the Payment Service Bank licence in Nigeria just a few months ago, it is a testament to our prior preparation that we have already managed to launch our mobile money operations in a few select locations without any operational issues. We are excited by the commercial developments and opportunities here. We also continued to invest for growth and have made a couple of major additional spectrum acquisitions recently in the DRC and Kenya in anticipation of continued strong data demand growth in these markets.
“We continue to target growth ahead of the marketthis year and, despite inflationary pressures, our continued focus on cost efficiencies should also support margin resilience. Longer term, the opportunities for sustainable profitable growth stemming from our underpenetrated markets for each of mobile voice, data and mobile money services remain hugely attractive, and we are confident of continuing to deliver on our growth strategy.”
Nigeria’s 5G Network Subscriptions Soar to Half a Million, Broadband Penetration at 47.01%
The Executive Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, revealed that Nigeria’s Fifth Generation (5G) network subscriptions have surpassed half a million users.
Broadband penetration has surged to 47.01% as of July 2023, marking a significant leap in the country’s telecommunications landscape.
Speaking from Kano, Prof. Danbatta highlighted the remarkable achievements of the telecoms industry since 2015. In July, he reported that 5G subscriptions had surged to over 60,000 in the nation.
Also, he emphasized the nation’s ambitious goals, aiming to achieve 50% broadband penetration by the close of 2023 and a remarkable 70% broadband penetration by the conclusion of 2025.
In a statement, Prof. Danbatta stated, “Moreover, the telecommunications sector has undergone a substantial transformation, with its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growing from 8% in 2015 to an impressive 16% quarterly as of the second quarter of 2023, signifying its growing significance to the Nigerian economy.”
He further elaborated, “Furthermore, the authorization of additional telecommunications companies to operate within Nigeria’s telecoms sector has led to a remarkable upsurge in investments. In 2015, the sector attracted $38 billion in investments, a figure that has now soared to an astonishing $75 billion and continues to rise daily. Notably, the NCC’s sale of 5G C-Band Spectrum has generated over $847.8 million in revenue for the Federal Government.”
In related news, the Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Bosun Tijani, emphasized Nigeria’s commitment to bolstering telecommunication connectivity in unserved and underserved communities.
Minister Tijani stressed that connectivity serves as a catalyst for progress and highlighted the nation’s eagerness to establish partnerships aimed at bridging the digital divide.
Nigerian Communications Commission Reports Remarkable Growth in Telecom Sector
Prof. Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice-Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has revealed impressive figures showcasing the robust growth of telecom investments in the country.
During a recent media interaction held in Kano on Saturday, Danbatta disclosed that the telecom investment inflow in Nigeria had surged from $38 billion to an astounding $77 billion by the second quarter of 2023.
Also, he highlighted that the telecommunications sector had contributed 16 percent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) during the same period.
Danbatta attributed this growth to a combination of factors, primarily “thorough sustained regulatory excellence and operational efficiency by the commission.”
Since taking office as the EVC of NCC in 2015, he noted that the sector’s contribution to GDP had more than doubled, from around eight percent to the current 16 percent.
In addition to this, Danbatta underscored the industry’s achievements, stating, “We have witnessed explosive growth, improved regulatory standards, and digital innovation that have generated global recognition.”
He further revealed significant milestones in telecommunications usage, with 218.9 million telephone users, 159.5 million internet subscribers, and 88.7 million broadband users in Nigeria within the reviewed period.
However, Danbatta acknowledged that several challenges still hampered the full potential of broadband deployment in the country. These challenges include issues related to the right of way, fiber cuts, high capital requirements for deployment, multiple taxations, and complex regulations.
Nevertheless, Danbatta assured stakeholders that the NCC was committed to addressing these obstacles and navigating through regulatory complexities, digital divide, and literacy issues.
As part of their initiatives to enhance communication and emergency response, the NCC announced plans to establish emergency communication centers in all 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Furthermore, the commission had increased research grants for universities from N20 million to N30 million, benefitting three universities thus far.
Danbatta explained that the NCC aimed to provide accessible and affordable telecom services as an enabler for the country’s economic advancement.
However, he also highlighted some ongoing challenges, such as the wilful destruction of NCC facilities and the burden of numerous taxes imposed on telecommunications companies.
Despite these challenges, the NCC remains committed to engaging with the media industry and the public to ensure transparency and to keep everyone informed about its activities.
Nigeria’s Largest Telecom Operator, MTN, Enhances Broadband Reach with 10MHz Spectrum Approval
MTN, Nigeria’s leading telecom operator, has received approval for an additional 10MHz spectrum allocation within the 2.6GHz spectrum band.
This development is poised to significantly bolster broadband coverage across all 36 states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory.
Karl Toriola, Chief Executive Officer of MTN Nigeria, said, “This additional spectrum will empower us to uphold our commitment to delivering high-quality services to our valued customers while actively supporting the Federal Government’s agenda to expand broadband access nationwide.”
This valuable spectrum allocation was acquired from OpenSkys Services Limited, a reputable indigenous Nigerian telecommunications company licensed by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to provide telecommunication services on the 450MHz frequency band.
The 2.6GHz spectrum band is designated for the deployment of terrestrial mobile broadband services.
According to a report by the GSMA, this spectrum band serves as an ideal complement to the 700MHz-800MHz spectrum bands, forming a formidable combination capable of delivering cost-effective nationwide mobile broadband coverage, encompassing both rural and urban areas.
As of December 2022, broadband penetration in Nigeria stood at 47.36 percent. The Federal Government of Nigeria has set a target of achieving 70 percent broadband penetration by 2025. MTN Nigeria’s acquisition of this broadband spectrum allocation is poised to equip the ICT giant with the capabilities required to offer enhanced broadband services to meet the surging demand for widespread and uniform mobile broadband services nationwide.
In the words of Karl Toriola, “This additional spectrum will empower us to uphold our commitment to delivering high-quality services to our valued customers while actively supporting the Federal Government’s agenda to expand broadband access nationwide.”
MTN believes that the integration of this spectrum allocation will lead to a significant enhancement in the customer experience, aligning perfectly with their dedication to delivering exceptional services.
Also, this acquired spectrum will equip the telecommunications operator with the tools needed to deploy advanced broadband technologies, thereby contributing to the realization of Nigeria’s broadband objectives.
A report by the GSMA underscores the pivotal role of broadband penetration, particularly in developing countries, in driving an increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This highlights the urgent need for continuous development and investment in broadband infrastructure, exemplified by the inclusion of the 2.6GHz spectrum band.
News3 weeks ago
Npower Program Restores Hope with Long-Awaited Stipend Disbursement
Commodities3 weeks ago
Three Chinese Groups Vying to Acquire $2 Billion Botswana Copper Mine
News3 weeks ago
Government Plans to Revamp Npower Scheme and Combat Poverty
Forex4 weeks ago
Dollar to Naira Black Market Today, 1st September 2023
Banking Sector4 weeks ago
Guaranty Trust Holding Co. Surpasses Expectations with $468 Million Forex Windfall
Forex3 weeks ago
Black Market Dollar to Naira Today, September 7th, 2023
Government4 weeks ago
French Influence Wanes in Africa: Is Macron’s Africa Policy Doomed?
Startups4 weeks ago
Nigerian-American Nurse Turned Millionaire Entrepreneur: The Inspiring Journey of Courtney Adeleye