Airtel Malawi banks on increased demographics to grow subscriber base
Airtel Malawi is anticipating suppressed disposable incomes owing to economic activity disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic which has so far claimed four lives and infected 438 people.
The telco has approximately four million mobile network users in the southern African country and is banking on increased demographics to boost its user numbers.
Subscribers on Airtel Malawi grew by 19.4% in the full year period to December 2019, but this growth is likely to be impacted by the pandemic.
“We enter a period of increased volatility as a result of the impact of Covid-19 on the economy and customer demand, due to lower disposable income,” said Charles Kamoto, Managing Director of Airtel Malawi in an annual report published on 5 June 2020.
However, the medium-to-long-term outlook still holds opportunities of growth for the telco, with executives saying telecommunications in Malawi “will continue to benefit from population growth and need for increased connectivity” especially in under serviced areas.
“We expect to continue to execute our strategy focused on increasing mobile penetration in Malawi through investment in rural unserved markets as well as digitise the economy by increasing penetration of data usage,” said the company.
Revenue, excluding mobile money operations, for the full year to December was up by 12.8%, driven by data income which surged a massive 42.1% against voice revenue increase of 3.1%.
Under new Reserve Bank of Malawi regulations, the Airtel Money mobile wallet operations have to be incorporated under Airtel Mobile Commerce Limited with effect from the beginning of this year.
Airtel Malawi, majority owned by Airtel Africa, early this year closed an IPO on the Malawi Stock Exchange which helped raise about US$38.1-million.
Enock Kondowe, the head of investment banking for Standard Bank Malawi (a lead deal broker for the IPO) said the transaction had helped provide “new investment access to one of the country’s leading corporates” on the stock exchange.
Kondowe stated: “With 20% of Airtel Malawi now in the hands of the Malawian public including strong retail participation in the IPO, Malawians, including the customers of Airtel Malawi, can share in the Company’s success story.”