Business Hilights
Tracking Nigeria's Headline Business News Online

How data segment boosted Bharti Airtel’s 2016 Q4, 2017 Q1 earnings

Indications have emerged showing that the reported $6 million profit from Nigeria and other African countries where Bharti Airtel has operations, stemmed from earnings on growth in the data customer base and consumption. Besides, the overall revenue growth was helped by currency stabilisation in most markets.

Airtel was among telecoms conglomerates that recorded a significant growth in Q4, 2016, and Q1, 2017, among other Mobile Network Operators in Nigeria.

Business Hilights recalls that Airtel Nigeria currently controls 22.8 per cent market share in Nigeria with 34.7 million subscribers.

The new report averred that the Sunil Mittal-led mobile carrier’s revenue in Africa climbed up 2.6 per cent to $888 million in the three months ended March from $872 million a year earlier.

The financial year 2016-17 becomes the first full year that was positive on profit before tax level.

Chief Operating Officer of Africa, Raghunath Mandava, said that revenue growth for the quarter was 4.4 per cent in constant currency terms during FY 16-17 with net revenues up a healthy 5.0 per cent as it shed unprofitable lines.

According to the company, the report showed that data consumption and revenues have grown by 95.5 per cent & 23.5 per cent respectively in the just ended fiscal.“Our efforts to deliver a profitable business model for Africa have resulted in EBITDA growth of 36.0 per cent with margin expanding by +500 basis points on an underlying basis in FY 16-17. For the first time ever, African operation has delivered positive PBT (profit before tax) in the financial year (constant currency),” Mandava stated.

Before the end of first quarter of this year, Bharti Airtel and Millicom International signed an agreement to combine their operations in Ghana through their respective subsidiaries, Airtel Ghana Limited and Tigo Ghana Limited, where the final entity will have equal ownership and governance rights from both parties. The deal closure is subject to customary regulatory approvals and other closing conditions.

Other deals that shored up revenue within the period under review include sale of Airtel operations in Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone to Orange were closed, and sale and lease back of 1,510 towers in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Niger was also completed. With this, the company has sold and leased back 10,450 towers in 10 countries.