Nigeria's currency devaluation policy is telling on Airtel Africa as the company reported a 5% decline in profit for the first quarter of 2023, despite experiencing revenue growth.
According to the financial statement released on the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX), Airtel Africa made less profit in the first quarter of 2023, even though they made more sales.
Their profit after tax (PAT) dropped by 0.6% to $750 million, compared to $755 million in the same period last year. However, their revenue increased by 11.5% to $5.25 million, compared to $4.71 million in the first quarter of 2022.
The Nigerian market, where Airtel has 60.30 million active subscribers for telephony services and 41.89 million internet users, contributed largely to the growth, followed by East African subscribers and the Francophone nations.
The company's CEO, Olusegun Ogunsanya, attributed the drop in profit to a challenging operating environment. Currency devaluation and the Nigerian National Identification Number (NIN) clampdown on subscribers were additional factors impacting Airtel Africa's financial performance.
The company reported a revenue loss of $110 million due to the NIN clampdown, leading to a lag in revenue growth. But, mobile services revenue experienced growth across regions, driven by voice and data services, as well as mobile money.
The telco’s financial statement also reported that its mobile services revenue grew by 16.2% across its regions. Mobile services revenue was up by 20.3% in Nigeria, in East Africa by 13.4% and in francophone Africa by 11.9%. Despite these challenges, Airtel Africa's underlying EBITDA margins demonstrated resilience, showcasing the effectiveness of its operating model.