Airtel Africa Plc has posted a profit after tax of $408 million for the financial year ended March 31, 2020, recommending a final dividend of $0.03 per share, to be paid on July 24, 2020 to shareholders.
It also paid an interim dividend of $0.03 per share in November 2019, making the total dividend payout for the period under review to be $0.06 per share. The company’s results released on the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) showed a customer base of $110.6 million, up by 11.9 per cent.
Revenue increased by 11.2 per cent to $3.422 billion, while revenue in constant currency grew by 13.8 per cent in the full year and 17.9 per cent in fourth quarter (Q4).
Growth recorded across all business segments, with voice revenue up by 5.2 per cent, data by 39 per cent and mobile money by 37.2 per cent.
Underlying Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) up 13.8 per cent to $1.515 billion, with underlying EBITDA growth in constant currency at 16.3 per cent, while reported underlying EBITDA margin improved to 44.3 per cent by 100 basis points up by 94 basis points in constant currency.
Operating profit grew by 22.8 per cent to $901 million and increased by 25.4 per cent in constant currency, free cash flow was $453 million, more than double compared to the same period last year.
The Company’s earnings per share (EPS) before exceptional items was $7.3 cents and basic EPS was $10.3 cents, a decrease of $9.2 cents, while net debt to underlying EBITDA was 2.1x, compared to 3.0x in March 2019.
Speaking on the results, chief executive officer of Airtel Africa, Raghunath Mandava said that “These are a strong set of results which delivered against our aspirations set out at the time of the IPO, with performance sequentially improving during the year.
“Revenue increased by 11.2 per cent, 13.8 per cent in constant currency, and underlying EBITDA by 13.8 per cent, 16.3 per cent in constant currency, to a reported $1.515 billion, underpinned by significant improvement in our Free cash flow generation and reduced leverage.”
He noted that these results also demonstrate the strength and resilience of our business and the effectiveness of its strategy, with all three business services, voice, data and mobile money, contributing to revenue growth.
He stated that “We have also continued to invest in future growth opportunities as we expanded our distribution, modernised and expanded our network with 65 per cent of sites now on 4G, acquired new spectrum in Nigeria, Tanzania, Malawi and Chad, and entered into strategic partnerships in our mobile money business.
“More recently, the markets where we operate have begun to be impacted by the COVID-19 and the related actions that governments have implemented to reduce the risk of contagion.