Airtel Africa, the pan-African division of Indian telecoms group Bharti Airtel, has booked revenue of USD1.1 billion for the three months to end-June 2021, up from USD851 million a year earlier. Underlying EBITDA for the period grew by 42% year-on-year to USD534 million, whilst net profit for the quarter more than doubled to USD142 million from USD57 million in the same period of 2020. The group recorded strong performance for each of its sub-divisions, with year-on-year revenue growth of 31% in Nigeria, 22% in East Africa and 29% in Francophone Africa.
At its Nigerian division, Airtel Africa recorded a slight decrease in subscribers to 40.9 million (a net loss of 1.1 million user quarter-on-quarter), which it attributed to new SIM registration rules in the country. Airtel claimed that financial impact from the disconnections was minimal, though, due to the ‘significantly lower ARPU of the churned base and increased usage by the active base’. ARPU for Airtel Nigeria grew to USD3.6 in the period under review, compared to USD3.2 in the preceding quarter and USD2.6 in the quarter to end-June 2020. Its East Africa unit counted a total of 55.4 million users at end-June 2021, compared to 53.1 million three months earlier, of which 17.3 million were data customers (16.2 million in the previous quarter). ARPU for the region inched up to USD2.4 from USD2.3 q-o-q. Quarterly net customer additions at its Francophone Africa division were 1.4 million, bringing its total for the region to 24.5 million at end-June 2021. Its data user based grew by 9.3% q-o-q to 7.4 million, whilst ARPU was unchanged from the previous quarter at USD3.8.