Airtel Africa incurs loss of $151m, cites FX crisis in Nigeria

By Kingsley Odii

Airtel Africa, a leading telecom company, has announced its financial results for the first quarter of the fiscal year 2023, spanning from April 1 to June 30. Despite reporting growth in revenue, the company experienced a loss after tax of $151 million, primarily attributed to the currency devaluation occasioned by forex crisis in Nigeria.

During this period, Airtel Africa reported a loss after tax of $151 million, a significant decline compared to a profit after tax of $178 million recorded in the same period the previous year. The adverse impact of currency devaluation in Nigeria played a crucial role in this financial setback.

In a statement, Olusegun Ogunsanya, Airtel’s chief executive officer said: “The Group delivered a strong operating performance with improvement in both constant currency revenue growth and (EBITDA) margin despite the challenging macro environment.

“The acceleration in voice, data and mobile money revenue growth is testament to the success of our six-pillar ‘win-with’ strategy. Our continuing investment in network and distribution enabled us to expand our customer base further, driving increased usage on our network. This strong momentum is supported by a continued focus on cost efficiencies, which enabled us to expand our EBITDA margins in the quarter.”

While the loss after tax is a notable development, Airtel Africa’s financial statement also highlighted positive growth in several key areas. The company’s mobile services revenue witnessed a commendable growth of 19.1% in constant currency. This growth was primarily driven by a robust increase in voice revenue of 11.9% and an impressive surge in data revenue of 29.8%.
Despite the loss after tax, Airtel Africa’s revenue demonstrated positive momentum, growing by 9.6% to $1.37billion in the first quarter of 2023, compared to $1.25 billion in the same period the previous year. This growth reflects the company’s continued success in expanding its customers base and driving revenue through various services.


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