Airtel records a massive rise in profit of $1.03 billion in Q1 2021 due to an increase in data and mobile money subscribers between January and March 2021.
In its latest financial report for Q1 2021, Airtel saw a significant rise in revenue by 21.7 per cent from Q1 of 2020 which recorded $899 million in revenue. However, due to constant currency change, the revenue growth is at 15.4 per cent.
In Q1 2021, Airtel recorded a $215 million increase in profit before tax from $97 million recorded in Q1 2020 despite recording a 6.9 growth in its total subscribers.
In Q1 2021 Airtel recorded profits of $154 million in profits after tax compared to $77 million recorded in 2020.
Data service saw an increase of 31.7 per cent to record $315 million in revenue compared to $253 million in Q1 2020 while mobile money recorded a 38.7 per cent increase compared to Q1of last year.
Airtel’s data subscribers increased to 40.6 million from 3.4 million in Q1 2020 an increase of 14.5 per cent which fueled the data revenue.
The report said that the pandemic showed that the telecom industry is essential for economies by keeping customers connected, having access to affordable entertainment and financial services as well as working remotely.
In Q1 2021, Airtel’s voice revenue was at $547 million a 12.8 per cent increase from last year. Its subscribers in the same period grew from $110.6 million in Q1 2020 to $118.2 million in Q1 2021 which is a 6.9 per cent growth from last year.
The least revenue was recorded by Airtel Money with $110 million in revenue despite surpassing $83 million recorded in 2020 which was an increase of 38.7 per cent. Airtel’s mobile money customer base increased by 18.5 per cent.
According to the report, the telecom increased its mobile money agents by 30.7 per cent. Airtel’s mobile money serves 21.7 million customers around the 14 countries it operates in which is 18.3 per cent of its customer base.
“In line with our strategy of unlocking value in our mobile money business, we will soon welcome two new minority investors (The Rise Fund and Mastercard) in agreed transactions which value this part of our business at $2.65 billion, as well as bringing $300 million into the Group. We have also agreed to sell more of our tower portfolio, yielding yet more cash for the business,” said Raghunath Mandava, chief executive officer, Airtel Africa.
The telecom recorded more revenue in Nigeria than in the Eat African countries where it is present in such as Tanzania, Malawi, Kenya, Uganda and Zambia.
Nigeria’s revenue increased by 23.9 per cent to $422 million in Q1 2021 from $377 million in 2020 making it the largest market for Airtel.
Francophone Africa also recorded an increase in revenue by 15 per cent despite being outperformed by Nigeria with $162 million(38.4 per cent). The seven countries in Francophone Africa recorded a revenue of $260 million from $215 million recorded last year.
East Africa recorded revenue growth of $358 million in 2021 from $310 million recorded in the same period last year which is a 23.9 per cent growth.
In major markets in Africa, Airtel still ranks second or third to other Telecoms in the region like MTN.
“As of March 31, 2019, East Africa had a customer base of 42.9 million as compared to 39.0 Million in the previous year, reflecting a growth of 10.0 per cent. Customer churn for the year was 4.8 per cent as compared to 4.0 percent in the previous year. The increase in churn is largely contributed by customer disconnections related to stringent KYC regulations. Voice revenue at $ 618 billion reflects a growth of 6.2 per cent as compared to $ 581 billion in the previous year which is largely driven by minutes growth of 34.5percent at 118.9 billion as compared to 88.3 Billion in the previous year. Data revenue at $ 275 billion reflects a growth of 22.0 per cent as compared to $ 225 million in the previous year mainly driven by data customer growth of 8.4percent to 10.9 million as compared to 10.1 billion in the previous year. Also, total MBs on the network grew by 73.1percent at 159.1 billion MBs as compared to 91.9 billion MBs in the previous year” said a financial statement from the company.