Airtel Africa which operates in 14 African countries has reported an 8.8 per cent year-on-year decline in consolidated net profit at USD 138 million in the fiscal's second quarter ended September 2023.
The profit after tax stood at USD 152 million in the year-ago period, according to a release by the company which provides telecommunications and mobile money services.
Airtel Africa's revenue for the quarter ended September 2023 came in at USD 1,246 million.
"In Q2'24, reported currency revenues declined by 4.7 per cent reflecting a full quarter's impact of the Nigerian naira devaluation in June 2023. The Q2'24 constant currency revenues increased by 19 per cent," the release said.
Seen on a six-month window, in the half year ended September 2023, the loss after tax was at USD 13 million "driven largely by a foreign exchange loss of USD 471 million recorded in finance cost before tax and USD 317 million after tax because of the devaluation of the Nigerian naira in June 2023".
This impact has been classified as an exceptional item, the release said.
On the H1 FY24 performance, the company said total customer base grew by 9.7 per cent to 147.7 million, as the penetration of mobile data and mobile money services continued to rise, driving a 23 per cent increase in data customers to 59.8 million and a 23.1 per cent increase in mobile money customers to 36.5 million.
Constant currency ARPU (average revenue per user) growth of 9.8 per cent was driven by increased usage across voice, data and mobile money.
Olusegun Ogunsanya, Group chief executive officer, said the operating performance for the Group was strong despite foreign exchange headwinds in many of markets and specifically in Nigeria.
"The resilient growth in voice, data and mobile money usage levels reflects the inherent demand for these essential services across our footprint...," Ogunsanya said, adding that the strong momentum is supported by continued cost efficiencies which enabled further EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation) margin expansion.
"As reported in July 2023, our results for the first quarter were significantly impacted by the changes to the FX (foreign exchange) market in Nigeria, introduced by the Central Bank. Whilst the changes are required for the long-term benefit of the Nigerian economy, the immediate impact of the naira devaluation continues to weigh on our reported financial performance in the period," according to Ogunsanya.
The focus remains to enhance long-term value by continuing to drive sustained and efficient growth.