Bharti Airtel's Africa arm Airtel Africa on Wednesday reported a 4.4 per cent decline in its net profit at $408 million for the full financial year ended March 31, 2020 (FY20), compared to $426 million in the previous fiscal. The total revenue of the London Stock Exchange listed telco increased by 11.2 per cent to $3,422 million as against $3,077 million in FY19, helped by spurt in revenue across the voice, data and mobile money segments.
"Across the regions, Nigeria and East Africa continued to deliver strong performance, and performance in Francophone Africa continued to improve with revenue up 4.1 per cent in Q4 2020. Revenue growth was broadly based across all key segments: voice up 5.2 per cent, data up 39 per cent and mobile money up 37.2 per cent in constant currency terms," Airtel Africa said in a statement.
For the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2020 (Q4 FY20), Airtel Africa posted a 21.7 per cent fall its net profit at $65 million versus $82 million in the corresponding period, dented by higher finance costs. The total revenue, however, rose by 15.1 per cent to $899 million as compared to $781 million.
Commenting on earnings, Raghunath Mandava, chief executive officer, Airtel Africa said, "These results also demonstrate the strength and resilience of our business and the effectiveness of our strategy - with all three business services, voice, data and mobile money, contributing to revenue growth."
"We have also continued to invest in future growth opportunities as we expanded our distribution, modernised and expanded our network with 65 per cent of sites now on 4G, acquired new spectrum in Nigeria, Tanzania, Malawi and Chad, and entered into strategic partnerships in our mobile money business," he added.
On COVID-19 pandemic, the company said, "In the countries where we operate, the spread of the coronavirus has lagged the rest of the world. The situation is rapidly evolving, and in the last few weeks several governments in Africa have taken decisive actions to reduce the risk of contagion, including banning all commercial flights, closing educational facilities and in some cases all non-essential establishments, limiting social gatherings and encouraging social distancing and working from home."
"We are constantly monitoring how the situation is evolving to identify key risks and take immediate action to put in place adequate mitigation plans to minimise any potential disruptions from the pandemic to our business," it added.
Airtel Africa's board has recommended a final dividend of $3 cents per ordinary share. The proposed final dividend will be paid on 24 July 2020 to shareholders who are on the register of members at the close of business on 3 July (the record date).