Nigeria’s third-largest mobile network operator, Airtel, yesterday said it had generated a total of N122.8 billion (USD341 million) from voice calls, data subscriptions, and other digital services in the last three months. According to the financial statement released by the company’s parent body, Airtel Africa, the Nigerian operation recorded an 8.9 per cent growth in its revenue for the first quarter ended June 30. An analysis of the company’s financial performance in the period under review shows that Airtel Nigeria realised N70.9 billion (USD197 million) from voice calls, while data subscriptions fetched the telco N43.9 billion (USD122 million). A sum of N7.9 billion (USD22 million) was realised from its other services. Airtel Nigeria’s positive performance lifted the group revenue to a record 6.9 per cent growth in revenue of USD 851 million.
The company accounted for 43 per cent of the group’s revenue. Net profit for the group was USD 57 million, down by 56.9 per cent from USD 132 million a year earlier, largely as a result of a one-off gain of USD 72 million related to the expired indemnity to certain pre-IPO investors in the same period last year, higher finance costs and tax. Excluding one-off benefits in the previous quarter, net profit for the quarter fell by USD 13 million, mainly due to a higher derivative and exchange loss of USD 19.4 million in Q1 2021. Underlying EBITDA increased by 7.9 per cent to USD 375 million, with constant currency growth of 14.6 per cent. The underlying EBITDA growth was driven by revenue growth of 13 per cent and efficiency in operating expenses.
Free cash flow was USD 96 million, up by 53.5 per cent, largely due to underlying EBITDA rising by USD 27 million, interest payments falling by USD 8 million resulting from lower debt, and CAPEX down by USD 33 million, partially offset by an increase in cash tax. Commenting on the re-sult, Airtel Africa CEO Raghunath Mandava, 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 focused on expand