Airtel Africa, Bharti Airtel’s majority-owned pan-African division, has reported underlying revenue of USD3.89 billion for the year to end-March 2021, up from USD3.42 billion in the previous year. Of that figure, revenue from voice services accounted for USD2.08 billion whilst data revenue contributed USD1.16 billion, representing increases (in reported currency) of 5.8% and 24.3% respectively. Earnings from the group’s mobile money services, meanwhile, grew by 29.1% year-on-year to USD401 million. The revenue growth was driven by subscriber additions across all three of its units and a small uptick in ARPU as a result of greater levels of data usage, although Airtel noted that the growth was partially offset by currency devaluations in Nigeria, Zambia and Kenya. Underlying EBITDA for the twelve-month period stood at USD1.79 billion, compared to USD1.52 billion a year earlier. Net profit for the year rose to USD415 million from USD408 million.
Airtel Africa counted a total of 118.2 million mobile subscribers as at 31 March 2021, up from 110.6 million a year earlier, and of which 40.6 million were data users (35.4 million in March 2020). ARPU, meanwhile inched up to USD2.8 from USD2.7 in the preceding year. Its Nigerian division recorded an increase in its user base of just 0.5% for the year (to 42.0 million), which the operator attributed to SIM registration requirements in that market. By comparison its East Africa division (comprising Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia) recorded a 9.2% increase in subscriptions, to 53.1 million, whilst its Francophone Africa unit (Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Madagascar, Niger, Republic of the Congo, and Seychelles) saw its user base grow by 14.5%, to 23.1 million.