Airtel Africa profits hit by Nigeria currency devaluation

Airtel Africa profits hit by Nigeria currency devaluation

Airtel Africa reported a loss of US$89 million as it also suffered from the devaluation of the Nigerian naira, despite growth in customer base.

In a statement, the Bharti Airtel-owned operator detailed that the US$89 million loss was due to a US$549 million tax bill from “exceptional derivative and foreign exchange loss”.  Excluding the exceptional items, profit for Airtel Africa’s full 2024 financial year (ending 31 March 2024) would have been US$460 million.

Total subscriber base grew 9% to 152.7 million and there was a 17.8% increase in data customers to 64.4 million, and 20.8% increase in data usage per customer.

Capex was “broadly flat” at US$737 million and came in below guidance due to deferral in data centre investments. The company spent US$152 million in licence renewal and spectrum acquisitions, including US$127 million for its Nigerian 3G licence renewal.

Revenue declined 5.3% from US$5.2 billion to US$4.9 billion, also due to currency devaluation “particularly in Nigeria”.

Airtel Africa CEO Olusegun Ogunsanya said the operator worked on “de-risking our balance sheet and our capital allocation priorities has materially reduced the risks that the currency devaluation has had on our business.”

Ogunsanya added the company enacted initiatives to reduce US dollar debts across the business and continue to focus on “reducing our exposure to currency volatility”.

MTN also reported a drop in profits due to the devaluation of the naira and announced a strategy to return its local unit back to profitability

Sign-up to our weekly newsletter

Keep up-to-date with all the latest news, articles, event and product updates posted on Developing Telecoms.
Subscribe to our FREE weekly email newsletters for the latest telecom info in developing and emerging markets globally.
Sending occasional e-mail from 3rd parties about industry white papers, online and live events relevant to subscribers helps us fund this website and free weekly newsletter. We never sell your personal data. Click here to view our privacy policy.