Airtel Hit by $549m FX Loss from Currency Devaluations in Nigeria

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Airtel Africa Plc has announced a loss after tax of $89m for its full year ending March 2024, attributing the decline to a significant foreign exchange loss of $549m.

In its report released on Thursday, the company, which operates in 14 African countries, revealed that its quarterly earnings were significantly affected by foreign exchange losses. The reported loss after tax amounted to $89m, mainly influenced by significant foreign exchange headwinds, resulting in a $549m exceptional loss net of tax after the devaluation of the Nigerian naira in June 2023 and the Malawian kwacha in November 2023.

The company saw growth in constant currency revenue, with a 20.9% increase for the full year, and growth accelerating to 23.1% in Q4’23.

Despite challenging conditions, Nigerian constant currency revenue saw a growth of 34.2% in Q4’23. However, reported currency revenues experienced a 5.3% decline to $4,979m, mainly attributed to currency devaluation, especially in Nigeria.

The Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Africa, Olusegun Ogunsanya, mentioned, “Facilitating this growth has been and will continue to be crucial to our performance." Investing in our distribution to catalyse growth and the technology needed to support this growth has been crucial.

Other key points from the report show a 9.0% increase in the total customer base, now standing at 152.7 million.

With a 17.8% increase in data customers to 64.4 million and a 20.8% increase in data usage per customer, the company reaffirmed its dedication to bridging the digital divide.

Across the group, mobile services revenue experienced a 19.4% growth in constant currency, driven by an 11.9% increase in voice revenue and a 29.2% increase in data revenue.

With a continued strong performance in East Africa, Mobile Money revenue saw a growth of 32.8% in constant currency.

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