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Increase in data users pushes up Airtel Africa earnings

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Airtel Africa recorded an increase in underlying revenue of 1.5% Year-on-Year, according to consolidated results for the first quarter ended June 30, 2017, driven by an increase in its data customer base.

According to the results released by the company, data revenues grew by 11.3% Year-on-Year to stand at $ 138 million with the customer base increasing by 19.4% and traffic by 75.0%.

“Data revenues now contribute to 18.7% of overall Africa revenues vis-à-vis 16.9% in the corresponding quarter last year. Our continuous focus on costs and efficiencies has resulted in significant improvement in underlying EBITDA margin by 8.1% Y-o-Y and is at 28.0%. Active Airtel Money customer base at 8.7 million, increasing the total transaction value on Airtel Money platform by 31.4% to $ 4.3 billion,” a statement issued by Bharti Airtel Ltd, the parent company.

The Indian-based telecommunications company has African operations in Kenya, Burkina Faso, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Malawi, Madagascar, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

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In a statement, Mr Raghunath Mandava, MD and CEO, Africa, said:  “Airtel Africa organic revenue growth for the quarter was 1.5% Y-o-Y, though our efforts to optimize unprofitable revenue streams resulted in higher net revenue growth of 3.3%. New KYC norms impacted customer additions and consequently revenue growth in the quarter. The data story in Africa is unfolding well with consumption and revenue increasing by 75% &11.3% respectively on a Y-o-Y basis. Our focus to deliver a more profitable business model for Africa has resulted in another quarter of EBITDA margin improvement, with underlying margins expanding by 8.1% Y-o-Y from 19.9% to 28.0%.”

EBITDA stands for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation.


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