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Airtel Africa Q3 Revenue Rises 13 Percent

Airtel Africa said revenue increased by 9.9 percent to USD 2.52 billion in the nine months to 31 December 2019 from USD 2.29 billion a year earlier, with third quarter revenue up 12.8 percent. In constant currency terms, revenue rose by 12.4 percent in the nine-month period and by 14.2 percent in Q3. This was the eighth consecutive quarter of double-digit constant currency growth.

Growth was recorded for every service, with voice revenue up by 3.9 percent, data revenue up by 39.0 percent and mobile revenue up by 40.4 percent in constant currency.

Underlying EBITDA for the first nine months was USD 1.12 billion, up 13.2 percent from USD 988 million in 2018, while constant currency underlying EBITDA growth was 15.5 percent. The nine-month underlying EBITDA margin in reported currency was 44.3 percent, an increase of 129 basis points (bps) from 43.0 percent in 2018, and there was an increase of 121 bps in constant currency terms.

Operating profit for the first nine months amounted to USD 657 million, up 21.3 percent from USD 542 million in reported currency and 23.7 percent in constant currency, as a result of strong revenue growth. Operating expenditures as a percentage of revenue remained broadly stable.

Net profit was USD 331 million, down by 2.2 percent from USD 338 million in 2018 due to one-off deferred tax recognition in Nigeria in the nine-month period ending 31 December 2018.

Basic EPS was USD 0.086, down 53.6 percent, because of the increase in the number of shares issued. If all the shares on 31 December 2019 had been issued on 01 April 2018, the restated basic EPS for the nine months to 31 December 2019 would have been USD 0.081, and also USD 0.081 for the nine months to 31 December 2018.

The customer base grew by 9.4 percent to 107.1 million from 97.9 million on 31 December 2018. Data subscribers increased by 12.4 percent to 32.9 million from 29.3 million in 2018.

Third quarter revenue climbed to USD 883 million from USD 783 million in Q3 a year earlier, with voice revenue up 5.3 percent in constant currency, data revenue up 41.3 percent and mobile money up 30.6 percent.

Third quarter underlying EBITDA increased to USD 399 million from USD 339 million a year earlier and the margin rose to 45.2 percent from 43.3 percent. Operating profits swelled to USD 262 million from USD 178 million in Q3 2018.

Third quarter net profit fell to USD 103 million from USD 133 million the year before. Basic EPS was USD 0.017, down from USD 0.045 before exceptional items in the third quarter of 2018, or down from USD 0.031 restated.―Telecompaper

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