Mo-banking is subscriber magnet and economic multiplier
Airtel Africa’s pre-tax profits nearly doubled in a year, according to its declaration for fiscal year 2022.
As a telecom and mobile money-services provider to Africa it enjoyed a double-digit underlying revenue growth in all its regions thanks to an 8.7% growth in its customer base. It posted a pre-tax profit of $1.22 billion for the year ended March 31, up from $697 million a year before and beyond the market expectations of $1.14 billion.
The London-listed African subsidiary of Indian giant Bharti Airtel met the income expectations of City analysts, with takings of $4.71 billion compared with $3.91 billion in fiscal year ending April 2021. Underlying earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization – the company’s preferred metric – rose from 2021’s total of from $1.79 billion to $2.31 billion in 2022. The Airtel Africa board declared a final dividend of 3 cents a share, bringing the total for the year up to 5 cents, from 4 cents in fiscal 2021.
Long-term opportunities remain attractive, said a company statement. Though currency devaluation and repatriation present risks, the success of Airtel Africa’s mobile banking and credit applications will mitigate any reducing circumstances, because the vast unbanked population of Africa (estimated at 460 million) leaves plenty of scope for growth, especially in the developing economies in Tanzania, Rwanda, Kenya, Senegal and The Ivory Coast.
“There are increasing challenges from global inflationary pressures, but we continue to target revenue growth ahead of the market and moderate margin expansion,” said chief executive Segun Ogunsanya.