In the latest financial report filed at the Nigerian Exchange, Airtel Africa experienced a slump in revenue during the second quarter of 2023. The revenue declined by $1.20 billion, representing a 4.4 percent decrease, which the company attributed to the devaluation of the Naira.

The Central Bank’s unification of the exchange rate, from N460/$ in June to N790/$, was cited as the primary reason for the revenue loss. The company reported a 9 percent increase in revenue during the period, reaching $1.37 billion, compared to $1.25 billion in the same period in 2022.

However, it was noted that the financial results were prepared using an exchange rate of N502/$, and if the closing rate of N752/$ had been utilized, revenues would have declined to $1.20 billion, reflecting the 4.4 percent decrease.

During this period, Airtel Africa recorded a loss after tax of $151 million, showing a significant 184.7 percent decrease compared to the profit after tax of $178 million in the same period of 2022. This loss was primarily driven by $570 million in foreign exchange and derivative losses, leading to a loss before tax of $221 million.

The company’s earnings per share (EPS) for the period declined to negative 4.5 cents, marking a 204 percent decrease from 4.4 cents recorded in the same quarter of 2022.

Despite the challenging macroeconomic environment, Airtel Group managed to increase its customer base by 8.8 percent to 143.1 million users. The Nigerian subsidiary’s customer base also grew by 4.8 percent, with the average revenue per user (ARPU) increasing by 16 percent.

The loss after tax was mainly attributed to a foreign exchange loss of $471 million recorded in finance costs before tax, and an additional $317 million after tax due to the devaluation of the Nigerian Naira in June 2023.

In July 2022, the Group prepaid $450 million of outstanding external debt at HoldCo. The remaining debt at HoldCo stands at $550 million, due in May 2024, while cash at the holding companies amounted to $505 million at the end of the period.

Airtel Africa, a telecoms and mobile money service company, operates in 14 countries across West, South, Central, and East Africa.

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