Airtel Africa, a subsidiary of Indian telecoms group Bharti Airtel, has reported turnover of USD883 million for the three months ended 31 December 2019, an increase of 12.8% year-on-year. The bulk of the growth was attributed to mobile data services, which saw a 39.8% leap in revenue y-o-y from USD174 million to USD243 million, compared to a 4.0% increase in earnings from voice services (to USD506 million). Underlying EBITDA for the period was USD399 million (up 17.5% y-o-y), whilst operating profit rose by 47.1% to USD262 million. Net profit for the quarter dipped from USD133 million to USD103 million, however, due to an increase in tax charges (a loss of USD83 million compared to credit of USD28 million in December 2018) which the operator attributed to deferred tax recognition in its biggest market, Nigeria.
The group’s total subscriber base grew by 9.4% y-o-y to 107.1 million, of which 32.9 million were data users (29.3 million in December 2018), whilst ARPU edged up to USD2.8 from USD2.7 a year earlier.