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Airtel Africa records 56.9% drop in revenue

By , ITWeb’s Zambian correspondent.
Africa , 27 Jul 2020

Airtel Africa has recorded a 57% drop in net profit to US$57-million in the last three months due to the impact of COVID-19.

The company said profit after tax for the June 2020 quarter fell by 56.9%, from US$132-million a year earlier, while its customer base grew by nearly 12% to 111.5 million.

The company added that its mobile money customer base also grew to 18.5 million, up by 26.9% over the previous period, while the reported mobile money revenue was US$81-million largely driven by growth in Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia markets.

Data revenue also continued to grow at 35.7% with the company saying currently 33.2% of its total customers are data users and that data usage has doubled compared to the previous periods.

Raghunath Mandava, CEO of Airtel Africa said the slowdown of revenue during the quarter under review was due to the restrictions on movements as a result of COVID-19 and the temporary waiver of charges on certain transactions such as P2P, transfer charges, wallet-to-banks, bank-to-wallet and other merchant payments to support communities.

He also cited impact on economies during these unprecedented times and the withdraw of USD (US$) charges in Nigeria as per new guidelines issued by the regulator.

Mandava said the company focused on expanding and maintaining the network to ensure it could cope with increasing demand, and kept distribution up and running by increasing the penetration of digital recharges and stock levels.

“The pandemic impacted customer usage pattern during the month of April but as some restrictions started to be lifted, customer usage trend in May and June returned to being broadly consistent with pre covid-19 trends,” he said.

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