Airtel Africa PLC

Full Year Results

RNS Number : 0361L
Airtel Africa PLC
11 May 2022
 

Airtel Africa plc

Results for the year ended 31 March 2022

11 May 2022


Full-year highlights

· Reported revenue grew by 20.6% for the year, to $4,714m, and 17.8% for Q4. Constant currency underlying revenue grew 23.3% for the year and 19.1% in Q4.

· Constant currency underlying revenue growth was strong in all regions: Nigeria up 27.7%, East Africa up 22.7% and Francophone Africa up 17.2%; and across all key services, with revenue in Voice up 15.4%, Data up 34.6% and Mobile Money up 34.9%.

· Underlying EBITDA of $2,311m, grew by 29.0% in reported currency.

· Underlying EBITDA margin of 49.0%, increased by 294 basis points.

· Operating profit grew by 37.2% to $1,535m in reported currency.

· Profit after tax grew by 82.0% to $755m.

· Basic EPS of 16.8 cents, an increase of 86.5%. EPS before exceptional items of 16.0 cents (FY'21: 8.2 cents).

· Operating free cash flow of $1,655m, up 40.5%, with net cash generated from operating activities up 20.7% to $2,011m. Over the last twelve months the business has repaid nearly $1.4bn of debt at HoldCo as a result of strong cash upstreaming across its OpCos and proceeds from minority investments in mobile money and tower sales.

· Leverage ratio improved to 1.3x from 2.0x in the prior year, with $1bn of debt now held at HoldCo (FY'21: $2.4bn).

·     Customer base of 128.4 million, up 8.7%, with increased penetration across mobile data (customer base up 15.2%) and mobile money services (customer base up 20.7%). NIN/SIM regulations in Nigeria impacted customer growth in H1, but then returned to strong growth, adding 4 million customers in Nigeria during H2'22.

· Board recommends a final dividend of 3 cents per share, making total FY'22 dividends 5 cents per share (FY'21: 4 cents).

 

Alternative performance measures 2
(Year ended)

GAAP measures
(Year ended) 

Description

Mar-22

Mar-21

Reported
currency

Constant
currency

Description

Mar-22

Mar-21

Reported
currency

$m

$m

change %

change %

$m

$m

change %

Underlying revenue 1

4,714

3,888

21.3%

23.3%

Revenue

4,714

3,908

20.6%

Underlying EBITDA

2,311

1,792

29.0%

31.2%

Operating profit

1,535

1,119

37.2%

Underlying EBITDA margin

49.0%

46.1%

294 bps

296 bps

Profit after tax

755

415

82.0%

EPS before exceptional items ($ cents)

16.0

8.2

96.0%


Basic EPS ($ cents)

16.8

9.0

86.5%

Operating free cash flow

1,655

1,178

40.5%


Net cash generated from operating activities

2,011

1,666

20.7%

( 1) Underlying r evenue excludes a one-time exceptional revenue of $20m relating to a settlement in Niger in the prior year.

( 2) Alternative performance measures (APM) are described on page 51.

 

Segun Ogunsanya, chief executive officer, on the trading update:

"This is another strong set of results for Airtel Africa, demonstrating our solid execution as we continue to enrich the lives of a growing number of people through leveraging the sizeable opportunity to promote digital and financial inclusion across our markets.

We have delivered strong double-digit growth in revenues across all our regions and all our key services, with improving margins driven by strong cost control, and expanding cash generation which is enabling us to continue to invest in our network and services and expand our distribution, as well as strengthening our balance sheet and increasing our returns to shareholders. We are connecting more customers in new and existing coverage areas and driving usage levels and ARPUs to new highs.

We have successfully executed on a number of strategic initiatives in the year, with tower sales completed in four countries, $550m of minority investments secured for our mobile money business and a successful buyout of minorities in our Nigerian operation. Our receipt last month of a full PSB licence in Nigeria will help us to accelerate financial inclusion in the territory and drive our mobile money business even faster.

While the fundamentals of our six-pillar growth strategy remain unchanged, we are looking to accelerate our performance through a greater focus on digitalisation and we have underpinned our strategic pillars with our sustainability ambition.

I am particularly proud of the progress we have made in articulating our sustainability strategy this year as well as the partnership we announced with UNICEF to help drive and support educational programmes in our territories. I very much look forward to us publishing both our pathway to net zero and our first full sustainability report later in the year.

Turning to the outlook, long-term opportunities for us remain attractive. While mindful of currency devaluation and repatriation risks, we continue to work actively to mitigate all our material risks and to deliver value for all our stakeholders. There are increasing challenges from global inflationary pressures, but we continue to target revenue growth ahead of the market and moderate margin expansion."

Airtel Africa plc ("Airtel Africa" or "Group") annual financial information contained in this report is drawn from Airtel Africa plc's audited annual consolidated financial statements for the years ended 31 March 2022 and 31 March 2021, prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Companies Act 2006 and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and approved for use in the United Kingdom (UK) by the UK Accounting Standards Endorsement Board (UKEB). Quarterly information is drawn from unaudited IAS 34 financials of respective periods. Comparative period figures have been regrouped/ reclassified to conform with current year grouping/ classification.

About Airtel Africa

Airtel Africa is a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services, with a presence in 14 countries in Africa, primarily in East Africa and Central and West Africa.

Airtel Africa offers an integrated suite of telecoms solutions to its subscribers, including mobile voice and data services as well as mobile money services, both nationally and internationally. We aim to continue providing a simple and intuitive customer experience through streamlined customer journeys.

 

Enquiries

Airtel Africa - Investor Relations

Pier Falcione

Morten Singleton

[email protected]

 

+44 7446 858 280

+44 7464 830 011

+44 207 493 9315

 

 

Hudson Sandler

Nick Lyon

Emily Dillon

[email protected]

 

 

 

+44 207 796 4133


Conference call

Management will host an analyst and investor presentation and conference call at 12:00pm UK time (BST), on Wednesday 11 May 2022, including a Question and Answer session.

 

To receive an invitation with the dial in numbers to participate in the event, please register beforehand using the following link:

https://services.choruscall.za.com/DiamondPassRegistration/register?confirmationNumber=1370750&linkSecurityString=2d5d99c98

 

 

Key financial information

 

Description

Unit of measure

Year ended

Quarter ended

Mar-22

Mar-21

Reported currency
change %

Constant currency
change %

Mar-22

Mar-21

Reported currency
change %

Constant currency
change %

Profit and loss summary










Underlying revenue 1

$m

4,714

3,888

21.3%

23.3%

1,222

1,038

17.8%

19.1%

Voice revenue

$m

2,358

2,083

13.2%

15.4%

611

547

11.8%

13.6%

Data revenue

$m

1,525

1,157

31.8%

34.6%

397

315

26.0%

27.9%

Mobile money revenue 2

$m

553

401

37.9%

34.9%

147

110

33.6%

29.0%

Other revenue

$m

407

347

17.4%

19.9%

102

91

12.3%

14.0%

Expenses

$m

(2,413)

(2,107)

14.5%

16.4%

(616)

(544)

13.2%

14.8%

Underlying EBITDA 3

$m

2,311

1,792

29.0%

31.2%

608

495

22.9%

23.7%

Underlying EBITDA margin

%

49.0%

46.1%

294 bps

296 bps

49.7%

47.7%

206 bps

187 bps

Depreciation and amortisation

$m

(744)

(681)

9.3%

11.3%

(188)

(176)

6.6%

8.4%

Operating exceptional items 4

$m

(32)

14

-

-

(32)

1

-

-

Operating profit

$m

1,535

1,119

37.2%

39.4%

390

319

22.3%

22.0%

Net finance costs 5

$m

(403)

(423)

(4.6%)


(112)

(104)

7.7%


Non-operating exceptional items6

$m

92

-

-


82

-

-


Profit before tax

$m

1,224

697

75.6%

 

360

215

67.4%

 

Tax

$m

(471)

(318)

48.2%


(122)

(82)

47.5%


Tax - exceptional items

$m

2

36

-


2

21

-


Total tax charge

$m

(469)

(282)

66.3%


(120)

(61)

95.2%


Profit after tax

$m

755

415

82.0%

 

240

154

56.0%

 

Non-controlling interest

$m

(124)

(76)

62.9%


(50)

(22)

130.7%


Profit attributable to owners of the company - before exceptional items

$m

602

308

95.9%


171

121

41.5%


Profit attributable to owners of the company

$m

631

339

86.3%

 

190

132

43.7%

 

EPS - before exceptional items

cents

16.0

8.2

96.0%


4.6

3.2

41.6%


Basic EPS

cents

16.8

9.0

86.5%


5.1

3.5

43.8%


Weighted average no of shares

million

3,754

3,758

(0.1%)


3,753

3,756

(0.1%)


Capex

$m

656

614

6.9%


224

211

6.4%


Operating free cash flow

$m

1,655

1,178

40.5%


384

284

35.1%


Net cash generated from operating activities

$m

2,011

1,666

20.7%


512

449

14.1%


Net debt

$m

2,941

3,530



2,941

3,530



Leverage (net debt to underlying EBITDA)

times

1.3x

2.0x



1.3x

2.0x



Return on capital employed

%

23.3%

16.5%

678 bps


23.2%

16.4%

680 bps


Operating KPIs

 

 




 




ARPU

$

3.2

2.8

13.5%

15.4%

3.2

2.9

9.5%

10.7%

Total customer base

million

128.4

118.2

8.7%


128.4

118.2

8.7%


Data customer base

million

46.7

40.6

15.2%


46.7

40.6

15.2%


Mobile money customer base

million

26.2

21.7

20.7%


26.2

21.7

20.7%


(1) Revenue includes intra-segment eliminations of $129m for the year ended 31 March 2022 and $100m for the prior year. And it also excludes one-time exceptional revenue of $20m relating to a settlement in Niger in the year ended 31 March 2021.

(2) Mobile money revenue post intra-segment eliminations with mobile services was $424m for the year ended 31 March 2022, and $301m for the prior year.

(3) Underlying EBITDA includes other income of $10m for the year ended 31 March 2022, and $11m for the prior year.

(4) Operating exceptional items of $32m in the year ended 31 March 2022 consists of a $12m provision for expected settlement of a contractual dispute in which one of the Group's subsidiaries is a party and $20m costs of agreeing historical spectrum fees in one of the Group's subsidiaries. The prior year operating exceptional items includes exceptional revenue relating to a one-time settlement in Niger for $20m, partially offset by one-off costs of $6m in Francophone Africa.

(5) Net finance costs in the year ended 31 March 2022 excludes a one-off cost of $19m on prepayment of $505m bonds in March 2022.

(6) Non-operating exceptional items in the year ended 31 March 2022 include a gain of $111m on the sale of telecommunication tower assets in the Group's subsidiaries in Tanzania, Malawi, Madagascar, and Rwanda, partially offset by costs of $19m on prepayment of $505m of bonds.

 


 

 

Financial review for the year ended 31 March 2022

We have recorded another strong set of results that demonstrate the effective execution of our strategy, with strong performance across our regional segments and key services. Reported revenue grew by 20.6%.

Underlying revenue in constant currency grew by 23.3%. Revenue in Nigeria grew by 27.7%, in East Africa by 22.7% and in Francophone Africa by 17.2% in constant currency. We have delivered strong double-digit growth across all our key services: voice revenue grew by 15.4%, data revenue grew by 34.6%, mobile money revenue grew by 34.9%, and other revenue by 19.9%. Growth in other revenues was marginally impacted in Q4'22 from the loss of c.$6m revenues from tower sharing related to tower sales completed in the year. Mobile services revenue grew by 22.0% in constant currency (19.6% in reported currency) and mobile money services revenue grew by 34.9% (37.9% in reported currency). Revenue growth for the year benefited from a weakened performance in the first quarter of the prior year during the peak period of Covid-19 restrictions across the region.

Net finance costs were broadly flat. The increase in tax charges of $187m was due to higher operating profits and withholding tax on dividends by subsidiaries, with the prior year also benefitting from $36m deferred tax credit recognition.

Basic EPS improved to 16.8 cents while EPS before exceptional items improved to 16.0 cents, with higher profits more than offsetting the associated increased tax charges, and higher non-controlling interests due to higher profit contributions in OpCos with minority shareholdings and new minority shareholdings in Airtel Money, partially offset by lower minority interests in Airtel Nigeria as a result of the successful share buy-back.

Leverage improved to 1.3x from 2.0x in the prior year, largely driven by increased cash generation, expansion of underlying EBITDA and proceeds from Airtel Money investments. Our balance sheet has also been further de-risked by continued localisation of our debt into the OpCos and material debt reduction in HoldCo.

GAAP measures

Revenue

Reported revenue grew by 20.6% to $4,714m. The prior year benefited from one-time exceptional revenue of $20m relating to a settlement in Niger. Excluding this, revenue grew by 21.3% in reported currency and by 23.3% in constant currency. Constant currency growth of 23.3% was partially offset by currency devaluations, mainly in the Nigerian naira (5.6%) and the Malawian kwacha (7.2%), in turn partially offset by appreciation in the Ugandan shilling (4.1%) and Zambian kwacha (4.4%). Revenue growth for the year benefited from a weakened performance in the first quarter of the prior year during the peak period of Covid-19 restrictions across the region.

Operating profit

Operating profit grew by 37.2% to $1,535m in reported currency as a result of strong revenue growth and improvements in operating efficiency across all our regions. Operating profit included a one-time cost of $32m consisting of a $12m provision for expected settlement of a contractual dispute in which one of the Group's subsidiaries is a party, and $20m costs relating to an agreement on historical spectrum fees in one of the Group's subsidiaries. This compared to the prior year which included a gain of $20m for a one-time settlement in Niger, which was partially offset by one-off costs of $6m in Francophone Africa. Excluding exceptional items, operating profit grew by 41.9%.

Net finance costs

Net finance costs were broadly flat, as lower foreign exchange and derivative losses, higher interest income and a one-time $12m gain in other finance charges as a result of the reversal of an interest provision in one of our operating entities were offset by a one-off cost of $19m for the applicable premium paid on the early repayment of the $505m bonds in March 2022. Additionally, interest costs were also broadly flat as lower interest costs on our reduced market debt were offset by an increase in interest costs on lease liabilities.

The Group effective interest rate increased to 5.6% compared to 4.9%, largely driven by repayment of the EUR750m bond in May 2021, which carried a lower-than-average coupon, and due to higher local currency debt at the OpCo level. In line with our strategy to continue to reduce foreign currency debt at HoldCo, we also repaid $505m bonds in March 2022, one year earlier than their March 2023 redemption date. One-off costs of $19m, including applicable premium, have been recorded under non-operating exceptional items, while the Group will save an aggregate of c.$26m on interest payments from the early redemption.

Taxation

Total tax charges were $469m, an increase of $187m, driven by higher operating profit and withholding tax on dividends by subsidiaries. The prior year also benefited from the recognition of a deferred tax credit of $36m in Tanzania.

 

 

Profit after tax

Profit after tax increased by 82.0% to $755m. This increase was mainly led by higher operating profits and stable net finance costs which more than offset the associated increase in tax charges. Exceptional gains were also $12m higher than the prior year.

Basic EPS

Basic EPS climbed to 16.8 cents, an improvement of 7.8 cents (+86.5%) from 9.0 cents in the prior year. This increase was mainly due to higher operating profits which more than offset increased tax charges and higher non-controlling interests (due to higher profit contributions in OpCos with minority shareholdings, new minority shareholdings in Airtel Money partially offset by lower minority interests in Airtel Nigeria as a result of the successful share buy-back).

Net cash generated from operating activities

Net cash generated from operating activities was $2,011m, an increase of 20.7% from $1,666m in the prior period. The increase was largely driven by higher profit before tax of $527m, which was partially offset by higher tax payments on the increased profits and withholding tax on dividends by subsidiaries. Over the last twelve months the business has repaid nearly $1.4bn of debt at HoldCo as a result of strong cash upstreaming across its OpCos and proceeds from minority investments in mobile money and tower sales.

Alternative performance measures [1]

Underlying revenue

Underlying revenue in constant currency grew by 23.3%, driven by both customer base growth of 8.7% and ARPU growth of 15.4%. The slowdown in customer base growth was due to the introduction of new SIM registration regulations in Nigeria. Excluding Nigeria, the customer base grew by 10.2%. In Nigeria, our customer base returned to growth in the second half of the year, adding a net 2.4 million customers for the full year. At the end of the year our total customer base was 128.4 million, an increase of 10.2 million. ARPU growth of 15.4% was driven by all our key services: with data contributing 7.7%, voice contributing 4.3%, mobile money contributing 2.7%, and the balance coming from other revenue, which was marginally impacted in Q4 from the loss of tower sharing revenues relating to towers sold during the year.

Revenue growth was recorded across all our regions and key services. Underlying revenue in Nigeria grew by 27.7%, in East Africa by 22.7%, and in Francophone Africa by 17.2%. Voice revenue grew by 15.4%, data revenue grew by 34.6% and mobile money revenue grew by 34.9% in constant currency.  

Underlying EBITDA

Underlying EBITDA was $2,311m, an increase of 29.0% in reported currency and of 31.2% in constant currency. Growth in underlying EBITDA was led by revenue growth and supported by improved operating efficiencies. The underlying EBITDA margin improved by 294 basis points in reported currency to 49.0%.

Foreign exchange had an adverse impact of $58m on revenue, and $26m on underlying EBITDA, as a result of devaluations of the Nigerian naira and the Malawian kwacha, in turn partially offset by appreciations of both the Ugandan shilling and the Zambian kwacha.

With respect to currency devaluation sensitivity, on a 12-month basis, a 1% currency devaluation across all currencies in our OpCos would have a negative impact of $43m on revenues, $26m on underlying EBITDA and $21m on finance costs. Our largest exposure is to the Nigerian naira, for which a 1% devaluation would have a negative impact of $18m on revenues, $11m on underlying EBITDA and $7m on finance costs.

Tax

The effective tax rate was 39.0% compared to 43.2% in the prior period, largely due to profit mix changes amongst the OpCos. The effective tax rate is higher than the weighted average statutory corporate tax rate of approximately 33%, largely due to the profit mix between various OpCos and withholding taxes on dividends by subsidiaries.

Exceptional items

Operating exceptional items of $32m in the year ended 31 March 2022 consists of a $12m provision for expected settlement of a contractual dispute in which one of the Group's subsidiaries is a party and $20m costs of agreeing historical spectrum fees in one of the Group's subsidiaries. The prior period operating exceptional items includes exceptional revenue on account of a one-time settlement in Niger amounting to $20m, partially offset by a one-off cost of $6m in Francophone Africa.

Non-operating exceptional items in the year ended 31 March 2022 include a gain of $111m on the sale of telecommunications tower assets in the Group's subsidiaries in Tanzania, Malawi, Madagascar, and Rwanda, partially offset by one-off costs of $19m including applicable premium paid on the early repayment of $505m bonds in March 2022.

Exceptional tax benefit of $2m recognised in the year mainly relate to the provision for the contractual dispute in which one of the Group's subsidiaries is a party, and the $36m in the prior year relates to deferred tax credit recognition in Tanzania.

EPS before exceptional items

EPS before exceptional items almost doubled to 16.0 cents, up by 96.0% (+7.8 cents) from 8.2 cents in the prior year. This increase was mainly due to higher operating profits which more than offset the increased tax charges and higher non-controlling interests (due to higher profit contributions in OpCos with minority shareholdings, new minority shareholdings in Airtel Money partially offset by lower minority interests in Airtel Nigeria as a result of the successful share buy-back).

Operating free cash flow

Operating free cash flow increased by 40.5% to $1,655m, as higher underlying EBITDA more than offset increased capital expenditure. Capital expenditure in the prior year was slightly lower due to logistical challenges as a result of the pandemic.

Leverage

Leverage (net debt to underlying EBITDA) improved to 1.3x at 31 March 2022, from 2.0x at 31 March 2021, largely driven by increased cash generation, expansion in underlying EBITDA and receipts of $550m from mobile money minority investments. Our balance sheet continued to be de-risked through a reduction of HoldCo debt (now $1bn, down from $2.4bn in the prior year) and increased localisation of our debt into the OpCos, such that our gross OpCo debt of $2,921m (including lease obligations) is now significantly higher than our HoldCo debt of $1,000m.

 



Other significant updates

Full payment service bank licence in Nigeria

In April 2022, Airtel Africa's subsidiary SMARTCASH Payment Service Bank Limited ('Smartcash') was granted final approval to operate a payment service bank ('PSB') business in Nigeria.

The PSB licence is required for Airtel to provide mobile financial services in Nigeria, such as accepting cash deposits and carrying out payments and remittances, issuing debit and prepaid cards, operating electronic wallets and rendering other financial services.

Full super-agent licence in Nigeria

On 14 November 2021, Airtel Africa's subsidiary Airtel Mobile Commerce Nigeria Ltd was granted approval in principle by the Central Bank of Nigeria to operate as a super-agent in Nigeria. This was subsequently upgraded to approval for a full super-agent licence in April 2022.

Under the super-agent licence, we are able to create an agent network that can service the customers of licensed Nigerian banks, payment service banks and licenced mobile money operators in Nigeria.

Early Bond redemption

In March 2022, the Group confirmed that it had completed the early repayment of its $505m 5.125% Guaranteed Senior Notes, originally due in March 2023, using cash balances available at Group level.

Settlement included all outstanding accrued interest up to the redemption date of 7 March 2022. One-off costs of $19m, including applicable premium, have been recorded under non-operating exceptional items, while the Group will save an aggregate of c.$26m on interest payments from early redemption.

Since the time of the IPO in June 2019, Airtel Africa has successfully pursued a strategy of strengthening its balance sheet through both deleveraging and reducing its US dollar debt exposure. Over this period the Group has reduced its USD HoldCo debt by c.$1.7bn and improved its leverage ratio to 1.3x net debt to underlying EBITDA at 31 March 2022. Following this early repayment of senior notes, the Group now has only $1bn of bonds remaining at HoldCo level, due in May 2024.

Completion of Airtel Nigeria minority buyout offer

On 2 December 2021, further to the buyout offer announcement on 4 October 2021, Airtel Africa announced the completion of the minority shareholding buyback of Airtel Networks Limited ('Airtel Nigeria'), a subsidiary of Airtel Africa plc and a leading provider of telecommunication services in Nigeria.

The purchase consideration for the 8.22% minority shareholdings acquired under the buyback was NGN 67.6bn, equivalent to $163m, including directly attributable transaction costs.

NIN - SIM linkage registration rules in Nigeria

Following a directive issued by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on 7 December 2020 to all Nigerian telecom operators, Airtel Nigeria has been working with the government to ensure that all our subscribers provide their valid National Identification Numbers (NINs) to update SIM registration records. To complete the registration process, we must link the NIN information received with the SIM of the respective subscribers and share the same with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).

The original regulatory directive set an initial deadline for customers to register (link) their NIN with their SIM of 30 December 2020. This was subsequently moved several times, with the last deadline being 31 March 2022. Airtel Nigeria was subsequently notified that with effect from 4 April 2022, all SIMs that have not been linked to a NIN were to be placed on 'receive only' status, meaning all their outgoing calls have been barred with immediate effect.

Subscribers of such lines can still link their SIMs to their NINs in order that these restrictions can be lifted. Customers have therefore been given a final opportunity to fully comply with the latest registration requirements.

We have made significant progress on capturing the NINs of our customers and building the database in collaboration with the NIMC. As at the end of April 2022, we have collated NIN information for 35.9 million active customers. Outgoing voice revenues for those active subscribers who have not yet linked their NIN with their SIM amounts to around 7% of total revenues from Nigeria, and around 3% of total revenues for the Group. However, our experience of adopting similar procedures in other countries suggests that SIM registration is accelerated, and some SIM consolidation is likely to occur in response to implementation, potentially reducing any financial impact. As at the end of the year, Airtel Nigeria had an active customer base of 44.4 million and posted revenue of $1,878m.

We continue to work closely with the regulator and impacted customers to help them to comply with the registration requirements, making every effort to minimise disruption and ensure affected customers can continue to benefit from full-service connectivity as soon as possible; in line with our aim to drive increased connectivity and digital inclusion across Nigeria.

Kenya spectrum licences

On 7 March 2022, the Group announced that its Kenya subsidiary, Airtel Kenya Networks Limited ('Airtel Kenya'), had entered into agreements with the Communications Authority of Kenya regarding its operating and spectrum licences, and received approval for the replacement of its temporary licence with a ten-year frequency licence for 2x10 MHz of spectrum in the 2100 MHz band, as follows:

· In respect of agreements regarding 2015-2025 operating and spectrum licences, Airtel Kenya will pay a total of c.$20m in four instalments over the next three years.

· In respect of the 2x10 MHz licence, 2022-2032, Airtel Kenya has agreed and paid for a ten-year licence for $10m.

Airtel Kenya is one of the Group's largest markets by revenue, and from FY'19 to FY'22 grew revenues by 22.2% CAGR. This $30m investment reflects our continued confidence in the tremendous opportunity inherent in the Kenya market.

Uganda listing obligation

Under Article 16 of Uganda's National Telecom Operator ('NTO') licence, Airtel Uganda limited is obliged to comply with the sector policy, regulations and guidelines requiring the listing of part of its shares on the Uganda Stock Exchange. The current Uganda Communications (Fees & Fines) (Amendment) Regulations 2020, creates a public listing obligation for all NTO licensees, and specifies that 20% of the shares of the operator must be listed within two years of the date of the effective date of the licence. Currently, this imposes a listing requirement by 15 December 2022 on Airtel Uganda. On 5th April 2022 we applied to the Uganda Communications Commission for an extension on the deadline for a period of one year.

Tower sales

On 25 March 2022 and 3 November 2021, Airtel Africa announced the first closings of transactions to sell its telecommunications tower companies in Malawi and Madagascar respectively, to Helios Towers plc, a leading independent telecommunications infrastructure company in Africa.

On 5 January 2022, Airtel Africa announced the first closing of the transaction to sell its telecommunications tower assets in Tanzania to a joint venture company owned by a wholly-owned subsidiary of SBA Communications Corporation, a leading global independent owner and operator of wireless communications infrastructure, as majority owner, and by Paradigm Infrastructure Limited, a UK company focused on developing, owning and operating shared passive wireless infrastructure in selected growth markets.

The gross considerations for these transactions are $55m in Malawi, $52m in Madagascar, and $177m in Tanzania. Loss of tower sharing revenue as a result of the sale of these towers amounted to $29m per annum. As a result of the tower sales across our OpCos the Group recorded a gain of $111m.

Under the terms of these tower transactions, Airtel Africa's subsidiaries in the respective countries will continue to develop, maintain and operate its equipment on the towers under separate lease arrangements with the purchaser.

In March 2021, the Group also announced memorandum of understanding arrangements with Helios Towers for the potential sale of its tower assets in Chad and Gabon. In February 2022, Airtel Africa announced that it had agreed an extension to their memorandum of understanding arrangement with Helios Towers in Gabon, with completion still subject to Helios Towers obtaining a passive infrastructure licence. The memorandum of understanding arrangement relating to tower assets in Chad expired in February 2022, and Airtel Africa and Helios Towers have mutually agreed that this would not be renewed.

Strategic investments in our mobile money business

Following earlier similar announcements of investments in our mobile money business of $200m by TPG's The Rise Fund and $100m by Mastercard (made on 18 March 2021 and 1 April 2021 respectively) in July 2021, Airtel Africa signed agreements with Qatar Holding LLC, an affiliate of the Qatar Investment Authority ('QIA'), regarding their investment of $200m in Airtel Mobile Commerce BV ('AMC BV'), a subsidiary of Airtel Africa plc. AMC BV is the holding company for several of Airtel Africa's mobile money operations; and ultimately is intended to own and operate the mobile money businesses across all of Airtel Africa's 14 operating countries.

On 2 August 2021 and 20 August 2021 Airtel Africa announced first closings relating to the Airtel Money minority investment transactions with TPG's The Rise Fund and Mastercard, and subsequently with Qatar Holding LLC respectively. Upon first closings, The Rise Fund, Mastercard and QIA invested $150m, $75m and $150m respectively in a secondary purchase of shares in AMC BV from a subsidiary of Airtel Africa, and both QIA and TPG each appointed a director to the board of AMC BV.

In November 2021, Airtel Africa announced second closings relating to these Airtel Money minority investment transactions, with a further $50m, $25m and $50m invested into AMC BV by The Rise Fund, Mastercard and QIA respectively.

In December 2021, Airtel Africa announced the introduction of Chimera Investment LLC as an additional investor in AMC BV through a $50m secondary purchase of shares from a subsidiary of Airtel Africa plc. Chimera Investment LLC (through its subsidiary Chimetech Holding Ltd.) now holds minority stakes in AMC BV alongside the other minority investors, with Airtel Africa continuing to hold the majority stake.

These transactions are a continuation of the Group's pursuit of strategic asset monetisation and investment opportunities, and it is the aim of Airtel Africa to explore the potential listing of the mobile money business within four years from first closing.

Airtel Africa has now received a total of $550m cumulative proceeds from minority stake sales in Airtel Money from the four investors. As previously reported, the proceeds from these secondary stake sale transactions were used for repayment of Group debt and for investment in network and sales infrastructure in the respective operating countries.

Launch of sustainability strategy

Within our Full Year Results announcement in May 2021, we highlighted that we would publish the measurable medium to long-term sustainability goals we set ourselves. In the first six months of this financial year, we identified the programmes needed, along with key milestones towards these goals. We also conducted a consultation progress with our stakeholders to gather feedback and further inform our sustainability strategy.

In October 2021, Airtel Africa launched an ambitious sustainability strategy that underpins our well-established corporate purpose of 'Transforming Lives.' The strategy demonstrates our commitment to developing the infrastructure and services that will drive both digital and financial inclusion for people across Africa and provides a framework to contribute to six of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals ('SDGs') where we believe we can have the biggest impact. These are SDG 4: Delivering quality education;
SDG 5: Gender equality; SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth; SDG 9: Industry innovation and infrastructure; SDG 10: Reduced inequalities; and SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production.

The launch of our sustainability strategy builds upon the Group's sustainability framework, announced with the FY'21 results, with its four key pillars of 'Our business', 'Our people', 'Our communities' and 'Our environment', and the strong foundations of the work we are already doing at a Group level and across all our local operations. The new sustainability strategy covers every aspect of our business activities, and has environmental, social and governance criteria at its core.

The sustainability strategy includes nine goals and commitments, with corresponding programmes that address the business' material topics (identified through an extensive consultation at the beginning of the year) and enable the Group to continue delivering sustainable growth and uphold the best governance standards:

·     Data security goal: Establish industry-leading data security for our customers; through investments in technology and expertise, updated processes and consumer awareness - with focus areas around confidentiality, integrity and availability.

·     Service quality goal : Provide underserved communities with access to reliable networks and connectivity; through the rollout of new infrastructure and technology, improved fibre connectivity and capacity - with focus areas on service accessibility, delivery and reliability.

· Supply chain goal: Ensure all our suppliers are aligned with our sustainability agenda; through programmes to increase supplier disclosure and audit ESG performance - with focus areas on enhanced supplier due diligence and ongoing ESG compliance.

· Commitments to our people: with our ambition to provide rewarding employment opportunities and to achieve genuine diversity and inclusion at all levels across the business through four key commitments:

Delivering equality in our workforce; through recruitment and programmes to provide training and advancement for everyone regardless of gender, nationality or disability;

Providing best practice training and development; through upskilling and reskilling initiatives to ensure they can succeed in their future careers. And through supporting female entrepreneurs through training and increasing women's participation in the technology and engineering sectors;

Providing the highest standards of health and safety for our employees and contractors; through the introduction of a best practice social and health and safety management system, improved policies and full compliance with all legislation and regulation; and,

Maintaining the highest levels of employee engagement; through the introduction of additional channels that provide every one of our people with a voice.

·   Digital inclusion goal : significantly improve digital Inclusion across Africa; by driving the penetration of mobile, smartphones and home broadband in rural areas through the provision of retail and support services.

· Financial inclusion goal : significantly increase financial inclusion in Africa, with particular support for women; through the development of affordable financial products to meet the needs of the un- and under-banked, a reliable service and financial confidence and literacy.

· Access to education goal: helping transform the lives of over one million children through improving access to education - with programmes around connectivity, the provision of zero-rated education content under a five-year UNICEF partnership, connecting 1,400 schools to the internet by 2027, and the adoption and support of schools in all our markets.

· Greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal: Our ambition is to achieve net zero greenhouse gas ('GHG') emissions ahead of the 2050 deadline set out in the Paris Agreement. To do this we must fully identify, measure and reduce our GHG emissions which can only be achieved in partnership with our peers and the wider industry. We will establish and launch a sector leading and credible decarbonisation pathway in 2022, ahead of the publication of our first Sustainability Report. In January 2022, we have engaged with the Carbon Trust for their advice and assistance with several aspects of our Greenhouse gas emissions measurement, management and reporting.

· Environmental stewardship: Eliminate hazardous waste from our operations, significantly reduce our non-hazardous waste and minimise our water consumption ; with programmes to replace damaging materials, expand recycling schemes and build employees' awareness around the protection of our natural resources.

Partnership with UNICEF

On 1 November 2021, Airtel Africa and UNICEF announced a five-year pan-African partnership to help accelerate the roll-out of digital learning through connecting schools to the internet and ensuring free access to learning platforms across 13 countries. By providing equal access to quality digital learning, particularly for the most vulnerable children, the partnership will help to ensure that every child reaches their full potential. 

Airtel Africa is the first African private sector partner to make a multimillion-dollar commitment to 'Reimagine Education', a global initiative launched by UNICEF in 2020 calling for public and private sector investment in digital learning as an essential service for every child and young person across the globe. This initiative aims to give children a chance to catch up on their learning needs amid the ongoing global pandemic.

Airtel Africa's financial and in-kind contribution for this partnership is $57m over five years to 2027. The programme will call on technology and expertise, in addition to direct financial support to connect schools and communities to the internet and enable free access to online educational content for students. It will also provide vital data insights to inform UNICEF's work to scale-up digital learning and help ensure it is sustainable and meets students' needs across Africa.

The Airtel Africa and UNICEF pan-African partnership will benefit students in Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

Dividend policy

In October 2021, the Board approved an upgrade to the progressive dividend policy as a result of continued strong business performance and significant progress made in reducing the leverage ratio. The new policy aims to grow the dividend annually by a mid to high-single digit percentage from a new base of 5 cents per share for FY'22, with a continued focus to further strengthen the balance sheet.

The Board recommends a final dividend of 3 cents per share, making total FY'22 dividends 5 cents per share including the interim dividend of 2 cents per share, and in line with this upgraded dividend policy.

Covid update

The Covid-19 pandemic contributed to a rapid acceleration of already existing macro trends across the countries where we operate, with people, businesses and governments seeking access to more and better connectivity and improved financial inclusion. These challenging times have shown that the telecoms industry is a key and essential service for these economies, allowing customers to work remotely, reduce their travel, keep connected and have access to affordable entertainment and financial services.

Covid-19 presented significant challenges to the business, particularly during the initial phase of the pandemic in Q1 last year, when mobile money and mobile services growth both slowed. However, the actions taken by the Board at that time enabled the continued execution of our strategy, including meeting increased customer demand for data, mobile money and mobile services.

Through multiple lockdowns and during times of national crisis our people have kept our distribution channels available and our networks fully operational. Our business partners have similarly continued to deliver their services despite numerous logistical challenges, and governments and regulators have continued to support the industry and helped facilitate our continued support to the economies of the countries and the communities we serve.

Several times through the pandemic, the governments in the countries where we operate have acted swiftly to implement and enforce restrictions on the movement of people to prevent contagion. These swift actions, along with low population density and relatively youthful population demographics, less frequent travel, and local experience in dealing with contagious diseases, have resulted in generally lower infection rates in sub-Saharan Africa relative to some other regions. Around the world the vaccination effort is well under way, with a significant easing of social distancing rules and travel restrictions, although Africa lags most developed economies in attaining full vaccination cover.

Despite the resilience demonstrated by our business during the last two years, we are constantly monitoring how the situation is evolving to identify key risks and to put in place adequate mitigation plans to minimise any potential disruptions.

The Group will continue to focus on ensuring the safety of our employees, our outsourced partners and our customers; ensuring that our network and distribution channels remain fully operational and available; ensuring that our customers continue to have access to financial services and ensuring that at Group level we are in the right financial position to meet our financial obligations at all times.

New shareholding requirements in Kenya

On 9 April 2021, the Minister for ICT in Kenya published an amendment to the National Information Communications and Technology (ICT) Policy Guidelines, 2020 (ICT Policy). The ICT Policy amendment will affect Airtel Africa's Kenya business as follows:

· Airtel Networks Kenya Limited, which currently holds an indefinite exemption from the Minister for ICT, dated 20 March 2013, has three years with effect from 9 April 2021 to comply with the requirement to have a 30% local shareholding.

· Airtel Money Kenya Limited, which holds a Content Service Provider Licence from the Communications Authority of Kenya, with effect from November 2020, has three years from the date of the licence to comply with the requirement to have a 30% local shareholding.

Under the amended ICT policy, a licensee may apply to the ICT Minister for an extension of time to comply with the requirement, or to obtain an exemption.

Appointment of new CEO, and other Board appointments and changes

On 29 April 2021, Airtel Africa announced that Olusegun 'Segun' Ogunsanya, managing director and chief executive officer Airtel Nigeria was to succeed Raghunath 'Raghu' Mandava, as managing director and chief executive officer following Raghu Mandava's informing the Board of his intention to retire. Segun Ogunsanya joined the Board of Airtel Africa plc with effect from 1 October 2021.

Segun Ogunsanya joined Airtel Africa in 2012 as managing director and chief executive officer Airtel Nigeria and has been responsible for the overall management of our operations in Nigeria, our largest market in Africa. Segun has more than 25 years' business management experience in banking, consumer goods and telecoms. Before joining Airtel in 2012, Segun held leadership roles at Coca-Cola in Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya (as managing director and chief executive officer). He has also been the managing director of Nigerian Bottling Company Ltd (Coca-Cola Hellenic owned) and Group head of retail banking operations at Ecobank Transnational Inc, covering 28 countries in Africa. He is an electronics engineer and also a chartered accountant.

Raghu Mandava has retired as managing director and chief executive officer, as a director of Airtel Africa plc and as a member of the Market Disclosure Committee as of 30 September 2021. Following his cessation of employment at Airtel Africa, Mr. Mandava remains available to advise the Chairman, the Airtel Africa Board and the newly appointed managing director and chief executive officer for a nine-month period.

Jaideep Paul, chief financial officer, was appointed as an executive director and joined the Board of Airtel Africa plc with effect from 1 June 2021.

On 12 October 2021, Airtel Africa announced the appointment of Ms Tsega Gebreyes to the Board as an independent non-executive director, with immediate effect.

New administrative office in Dubai

Airtel Africa plc has opened a new office in Dubai, adding to its existing administrative office locations in Nairobi, London, Amsterdam and Delhi.

The executive committee of Airtel Africa plc now operates out of the new office, which provides for significantly improved connectivity and enhanced cooperation with our 14 operating markets across Africa and with our other administrative offices.

Information on additional KPIs

An investor relations pack with information on the additional KPIs and balance sheet is available to download on our website at   airtel.africa/investors.


Strategic overview

The Group provides telecoms and mobile money services in 14 emerging markets of sub-Saharan Africa. Our markets are characterised by huge geographies with relatively sparse populations, high population growth rates, high proportions of youth in the population, low smartphone penetration, low data penetration and relatively unbanked populations. Unique mobile user penetration across the Group's footprint is around 47%, and banking penetration remains under 50%. These indicators illustrate the significant opportunity still available to Airtel Africa to enhance both digital and financial inclusion in the communities we serve, enriching and transforming their lives through digitalisation at the same time as growing our revenues profitably, across each of our key services of voice, data and mobile money.

The Group continued to invest in its network and distribution infrastructure to enhance both mobile connectivity and financial inclusion across our countries of operation. In particular, we continued to invest in expanding our 4G network footprint to increase data capacity in our networks to support future business growth, as well as deploying new sites, especially in rural areas, to enhance coverage and connectivity.

We describe our 'Win with' strategy through six strategic pillars. Our customers lie at the core of our strategy, through our fundamental purpose around transforming lives.

Our focus on digitalisation, of both our products and services and our internal systems and processes, increasingly functions as a catalyst, or an 'accelerator', for each of our strategic pillars.

Underpinning our Group strategy is our sustainability platform, describing our continued commitment to both driving sustainable development and acting as a responsible business. We launched our sustainability strategy earlier this year, describing our commitment to developing the infrastructure and services that will drive both digital and financial inclusion for people across Africa and provides a framework to describe our contribution to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals ('SDGs'). We have four key pillars within our sustainability framework: 'Our business', 'Our people', 'Our communities' and 'Our environment'; and we have nine summary goals and commitments, along with corresponding programmes that address each of the 'material' identified topics of the business, covering data security, service quality, supply chain, people commitments, digital inclusion, financial inclusion, access to education, greenhouse gas emissions reduction and environmental stewardship.

This year, we continued to make strong progress across each of our core strategic pillars: 'Win with network', 'Win with distribution' (renamed from the previous 'Win with customers'), 'Win with data', 'Win with mobile money', 'Win with cost' and 'Win with people'.

Win with network

The Group aims to continually provide a best-in-class network experience, including internet experience, to customers. We continued to invest in our network by expanding 4G coverage and building capacity to cater for the future needs of our customers and to continue providing them with high-speed data. Our expansion of 4G network capability across our footprint and connecting rural areas through deployment of new sites continued to be our two key focus areas. Our investment in the 4G network through single RAN technology has resulted in both expansion of our 4G coverage and enhanced network capacity. At the end of FY'22, 87.6% of our total sites are now on 4G, compared to 76.5% in the previous year. We are building a leading, modernised network that can provide the data capacity to meet rapidly growing demand, and enhanced connectivity and digitalisation needs of our markets. Our network data capacity has increased by 40.4% year on year, reaching 16,900+ TB per day, with additional capacity being added at only very marginal cost. We continued to modernise our network across all our countries of operation, with 96% of our sites now on single RAN.

The Group has added almost 10,000 km of additional fibre in the year, with total fibre now more than 64,500km.

The Group has also added additional spectrum in a few of our markets. We have added 10 MHz in the 2600 band in Malawi and 10 MHz in the 2100 band in Kenya. These allocations will help us to maximise network capacity and coverage.

Capital expenditure related to investment activities during FY'22 was $656m, excluding spectrum acquisitions and licence renewals.

Win with distribution (formerly named 'Win with customers')

Sub-Saharan Africa is characterised by low penetrated markets, with unique subscriber penetration at 47%. The Group's strategy is to build assured availability of service through deployment of exclusive retail footprint and ensuring sufficient resourcing to drive revenue generation at each distribution site.

The Group continued to build a unique mix of multi-brand and exclusive franchise channels, combined with a simplified and enhanced self-service app to provide a seamless customer onboarding experience. These have enabled us to add customers, resulting in customer base growth of 8.7% year on year (excluding Nigeria the customer base grew by 10.2%). This has also helped us to grow voice revenue by 15.4% in constant currency.

The Group continued its investment in strengthening our distribution network infrastructure, with a focus on rural distribution networks. During the period, the Group expanded its exclusive franchise stores, adding more than 15,000+ kiosks and mini-shops (taking the total to almost 53,000) across our footprint. The Group also added more than 43,000 activating entities in the year, up by 21%.

Win with data

The Group continued to invest in the expansion of our 4G network, adding significant data capacity to the network at only marginal cost, expanding both home broadband and enterprise business services to greater leverage the 4G network capacity; growing data ARPU and data revenue. We continue to focus on increasing smartphone ownership and increasing data usage at scale, largely via smartphone offerings through OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) device partnerships, and through expanding our network of smartphone device selling outlets.

Our improved 4G network supported our drive to increase smartphone penetration, data customer penetration and the uptake of larger data volumes, resulting in greater data consumption per customer. Smartphone penetration was up by 1.2 percentage point to 34.2% and our data customer base grew by 15.2%, now representing 36.4% of our total customer base.

Data usage per customer reached 3.4 GB per month (from 2.6 GB) led by an increase in smartphone penetration and expansion of our home broadband and enterprise customers. This helped us to grow data revenue by 34.6% in constant currency. Growing penetration and the data usage of customers (particularly 3G and 4G) helped us to grow data ARPU by 18.6%. 4G data usage constituted 66.7% of total data usage on the network in FY'22 with 4G data usage per customer reaching 5.5 GB per month in FY'22, up by 10.7% on FY'21.

  Win with mobile money

The Group has continued to drive financial inclusion. The low penetration of traditional banking services across our footprint leaves a large number of unbanked customers whose needs can be largely fulfilled through mobile money services. We aim to drive the uptake of Airtel Money services in all our markets, harnessing the ability of our profitable mobile money business model to enhance financial inclusion in some of the most 'unbanked' populations in the world.

The Group continued to expand our exclusive distribution network of kiosks, mini-shops and Airtel Money branches, so that customers can access their cash with relative ease. We have increased the number of kiosks and mini-shops by 40.0% and Airtel money branches by almost 60%. Additionally, we have increased the number of (non-exclusive) mobile money agents by 41.7%. Throughout the year, the expansion of our mobile money product portfolio, both through partnerships with leading financial institutions and through expansion of our merchant ecosystem, have further strengthened our mobile money propositions.

Our distribution expansion and enhanced offerings helped drive 20.7% growth in our mobile money customer base, now serving over 26.2 million customers and representing 20.4% of our total customer base (31.1% excluding Nigeria).

Mobile money continues to be one of our fastest growing services, delivering revenue growth of 34.9% in FY'22. It is an increasingly important part of our business, delivering $64.4bn of annual transaction value and accounting for 11.7% of total revenue in FY'22.

Mobile money ARPU increased by 12.2% in FY'22, driven by increased transaction values and higher contributions from merchant payments, cash transactions, P2P transfers and mobile services recharges through Airtel Money.

Win with cost

Our operating cost model is focused on enhancing cost efficiency through changes in the operating design and digitalisation initiatives. We embrace robust cost discipline and continuously seek to improve our processes to reduce operating costs, delivering one of the highest underlying EBITDA margins in the industry. We also use the latest technology to optimally design our networks and improve our capital expenditure efficiency; enabling us to build large incremental capacities at lower marginal cost.

As we continued to expand our business, various cost efficiency initiatives were undertaken during the period, relating mainly to:
(i) reduced operating costs at sites due to single RAN; (ii) optimisation of incremental network/site requirements through efficient spectrum utilisation (iii) remodelling our managed services through diversification of supply; and (iv) bandwidth capacity optimisation and implementation of dynamic and contextual interactive voice recognition ('IVR') for more efficient customer interactions.

These have contributed to an expansion of our underlying EBITDA margin by 294 basis points in reported currency and 296 basis points in constant currency. Our underlying EBITDA margin was 49.0% for FY'22, and our operating expenditure as a percentage of revenue improved by 3.0 percentage points.

 

 


Win with people

Our values of being Alive, Inclusive and Respectful, underpin our vision of being a responsible employer. We work in highly collaborative teams across the 18 countries in which we have operations or offices, and with 35 different nationalities represented.

Our talented and diverse people have continued to demonstrate incredible dedication and resilience. Their commitment to our business and customers has been a key driver to our long-term growth and as we continue to transform lives in the markets we serve.

Diversity and inclusion remain a key focus area for our business. We made further progress this year with 28% of our ExCo (including OpCos) now being women, up by 5.0 percentage points, with women representing 26% of our total workforce. And we continued to expand financial and digital inclusion to the communities we serve.

Investing in opportunities for learning and development of our people across all our operations has been accelerated through the launch of several digital platforms. Building and maintaining strong functional expertise and capability is a key driver of our performance.

We are committed to employee engagement and upward feedback through regular market visits, town-halls and open mic sessions, which enable us to understand issues that really matter to our colleagues, our workplaces and business operations.

Our reward system is based on simple and consistent metrics that drive a high-performance culture and our people performance metrics are aligned to our business priorities.

We continue to make strides to be an employer of choice with a diverse and inclusive work environment.




Financial review for the year ended 31 March 2022

Nigeria

Description

Unit of

measure

Year ended

Quarter ended

Mar-22

Mar-21

Reported currency
change %

Constant currency
change %

Mar-22

Mar-21

Reported currency
change %

Constant currency
change %

Summarised statement of operations

 









Revenue

$m

1,878

1,552

21.0%

27.7%

507

422

20.0%

24.2%

Voice revenue 1

$m

985

897

9.8%

15.9%

268

240

11.7%

15.6%

Data revenue

$m

734

549

33.7%

41.1%

194

152

28.0%

32.5%

Other revenue 1

$m

159

106

50.0%

58.2%

44

30

46.0%

51.1%

Underlying EBITDA

$m

1,037

839

23.6%

30.4%

279

232

20.6%

24.8%

Underlying EBITDA margin

%

55.2%

54.1%

115 bps

114 bps

55.1%

54.8%

27 bps

25 bps

Depreciation and amortisation

$m

(268)

(236)

13.2%

19.5%

(71)

(60)

19.8%

23.8%

Operating exceptional items

$m

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Operating profit

$m

769

602

27.8%

34.8%

208

172

21.4%

25.7%

Capex

$m

251

275

(8.8%)

(8.8%)

69

97

(28.9%)

(28.9%)

Operating free cash flow

$m

786

564

39.3%

50.7%

210

135

56.2%

64.3%

Operating KPIs

 









ARPU

$

3.8

3.0

26.1%

33.0%

3.9

3.3

18.7%

22.9%

Total customer base

million

44.4

42.0

5.8%


44.4

42.0

5.8%


Data customer base

million

20.3

17.7

14.9%


20.3

17.7

14.9%


(1) Voice revenue includes inter-segment revenue of $1m and other revenue includes inter-segment revenue of $2m in the year ended 31 March 2022. Excluding inter-segment revenue, voice revenue was $984m and other revenue was $157m in the year ended 31 March 2022.

Reported currency revenue grew by 21.0% to $1,878m with constant currency growth of 27.7%. The differential in growth rates was due to devaluation of the Nigerian naira by 5.6%. The constant currency revenue growth of 27.7% was driven by both customer base growth of 5.8% and ARPU growth of 33.0% largely driven by higher data and voice usage.

Voice revenue grew by 15.9%, driven by an increase in voice usage per customer of 20.8% which led to an ARPU increase of 20.7%. Customer base growth was affected by the NIN-SIM linkage regulations in Nigeria during the first half of the year but returned to growth, adding 4 million customers in the second half of the year, achieving net growth of 2.4 million customers over the full year. The number of regulatory approved outlets expanded to over 19,100 as of 31 March 2022.

Data revenue grew by 41.1% in constant currency, driven by data customer base growth of 14.9% and data ARPU growth of 37.6%, led by growth in data usage per customer to 4.0 GB per month (from 2.8 GB in the prior year). Our continued 4G network expansion and increased smartphone penetration has supported data usage growth. Almost 99% of our sites in Nigeria are now delivering 4G, and smartphone penetration of our customers has increased by almost 1 percentage point. Data revenue accounted for 39.1% of total revenue in Nigeria in the year, up by 3.7% on the prior year. For Q4'22, 43.6% of our data customer base were 4G users, contributing to 76.0% of total data usage. Data usage per customer reached 4.2 GB per month and 4G data usage per customer reached 6.5 GB per month, a significant increase on the 4.6 GB usage per customer per month of Q4'21.

Other revenue grew by 58.2%, with the main contribution coming from the growth in value added services revenue, led by airtime credit services.

Underlying EBITDA was $1,037m, growing by 23.6% in reported currency and representing constant currency growth of 30.4%. Underlying EBITDA margin improved to 55.2%, an increase of 115 basis points in reported currency and 114 basis points in constant currency, as a result of improvements in operational efficiency.

Operating free cash flow was $786m, up by 50.7%, due to the expansion of underlying EBITDA.

 

 

East Africa 1

Description

Unit of

measure

Year ended

Quarter ended

Mar-22

Mar-21

Reported currency
change %

Constant currency
change %

Mar-22

Mar-21

Reported currency
change %

Constant currency
change %

Summarised statement of operations

 









Revenue 2

$m

1,717

1,381

24.3%

22.7%

436

358

21.9%

17.9%

Voice revenue 3

$m

783

650

20.3%

19.2%

196

164

19.4%

16.3%

Data revenue

$m

457

354

29.1%

27.4%

118

92

28.1%

24.2%

Mobile money revenue 4

$m

411

291

41.5%

37.1%

111

79

39.9%

31.5%

Other revenue 3

$m

152

150

1.1%

1.6%

34

38

(10.0%)

(10.7%)

Underlying EBITDA

$m

848

631

34.4%

31.6%

218

168

29.4%

23.8%

Underlying EBITDA margin

%

49.4%

45.7%

369 bps

331 bps

49.9%

47.0%

291 bps

238 bps

Depreciation and amortisation

$m

(240)

(221)

8.7%

7.9%

(60)

(57)

6.4%

4.1%

Operating exceptional items 5

$m

(32)

-

-

-

(32)

-

-

-

Operating profit

$m

576

408

41.0%

36.8%

126

111

12.6%

4.6%

Capex

$m

271

249

8.8%

8.8%

111

81

36.5%

36.5%

Operating free cash flow

$m

577

382

51.1%

46.8%

107

87

22.8%

11.6%

Operating KPIs

 









ARPU

$

2.5

2.3

12.2%

10.7%

2.6

2.3

12.5%

8.8%

Total customer base

million

57.2

53.1

7.8%


57.2

53.1

7.8%


Data customer base

million

18.3

16.2

12.9%


18.3

16.2

12.9%


Mobile money customer base

million

21.7

18.0

20.5%


21.7

18.0

20.5%


(1) The East Africa business region includes Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

(2) Revenue includes intra-segment eliminations of $85m for the year ended 31 March 2022 and $64m for the prior year.

(3) Voice revenue includes inter-segment revenue of $1m and other revenue includes inter-segment revenue of $6m in the year ended 31 March 2022. Excluding inter-segment revenue, voice revenue was $782m and other revenue was $146m in the year ended 31 March 2022.

(4) Mobile money revenue post intra-segment eliminations with mobile services was $326m for the year ended 31 March 2022 and $227m for the prior year.

(5 ) Operating exceptional items of $32m in the year ended 31 March 2022 consist of $12m provision for expected settlement of a contractual dispute in which one of the Group's subsidiaries is a party and $20m cost of agreeing historical spectrum fees in one of the Group's subsidiaries.

East Africa revenue in reported currency grew by 24.3% to $1,717m with constant currency revenue growth of 22.7%. This growth was delivered across all key services; voice revenue grew by 19.2%, data revenue by 27.4% and mobile money revenue by 37.1% in constant currency. Reported currency revenue growth was slightly higher than constant currency rates due to currency appreciation in the Ugandan shilling and Zambian kwacha, partially offset by currency devaluation in the Malawian kwacha.

Voice revenue grew by 19.2%, driven by both customer base growth of 7.8% and voice ARPU growth of 7.5%. The customer base growth was largely driven by expansion of both network coverage and the distribution network. Voice usage per customer increased by 5.8% to 349 minutes per customer per month, thereby driving voice ARPU growth of 7.5%.

Data revenue grew by 27.4%, largely driven by data customer base growth of 12.9% and data ARPU growth of 5.6%. We continued to invest in our network and expanded our 4G network infrastructure which helped us to grow both data usage and the data customer base. The data customer base increased 12.9% to 18.3 million, with 4G customers accounting for 40.5% of our total data customer base and contributing 60.2% of total data usage. 85.8% of our total sites are now on 4G, compared with 76.4% at the end of the prior year. Data usage per customer reached 3.3 GB per customer per month, up by 22.1%.

Mobile money revenue was up by 37.1%, largely driven by growth in Zambia, Uganda and Malawi. The mobile money customer base grew by 20.5% and mobile money ARPU increased by 14.5%, due largely to expansion of our distribution network. The transaction value per customer reached $183 per customer per month, up by 16.0% from $153 per customer per month in the prior year. The slowdown in mobile money revenue growth was due to implementation of additional levies by the Government of Tanzania on mobile money withdrawal and P2P transactions from July 2021, which were subsequently revised downwards in early September 2021.

The underlying EBITDA margin reached 49.4%, an improvement of 331 basis points in constant currency, as a result of strong revenue growth and improvements in operating efficiency.

Operating free cash flow was $577m, up by 46.8% due largely to the expansion of underlying EBITDA.

 

Francophone Africa 1

Description

Unit of

measure

Year ended

Quarter ended

Mar-22

Mar-21

Reported currency
change %

Constant currency
change %

Mar-22

Mar-21

Reported currency
change %

Constant currency
change %

Summarised statement of operations

 









Underlying revenue 2

$m

1,131

964

17.2%

17.2%

282

260

8.4%

12.2%

Voice revenue 3

$m

594

541

9.9%

10.0%

148

143

3.3%

7.3%

Data revenue

$m

334

254

31.5%

31.0%

84

70

18.9%

22.6%

Mobile money revenue 4

$m

142

110

29.0%

29.6%

36

31

17.7%

22.6%

Other revenue 3

$m

104

96

8.9%

8.3%

26

25

3.6%

5.3%

Underlying EBITDA

$m

464

364

27.6%

27.7%

118

110

7.4%

10.8%

Underlying EBITDA margin

%

41.0%

37.7%

332 bps

337 bps

41.7%

42.1%

(39) bps

(53) bps

Depreciation and amortisation

$m

(203)

(207)

(2.0%)

(2.1%)

(48)

(52)

(8.6%)

(5.8%)

Operating exceptional item 5

$m

0

14

-

-

0

1

-

-

Operating profit 5

$m

261

170

53.7%

54.6%

70

59

20.1%

24.8%

Capex

$m

125

88

42.0%

42.0%

42

32

30.5%

30.5%

Operating free cash flow

$m

339

276

23.0%

23.1%

76

78

(2.1%)

2.6%

Operating KPIs

 









ARPU

$

3.7

3.8

(1.9%)

(1.9%)

3.6

3.9

(8.2%)

(5.0%)

Total customer base

million

26.8

23.1

15.9%


26.8

23.1

15.9%


Data customer base

million

8.2

6.7

21.3%


8.2

6.7

21.3%


Mobile money customer base

million

4.4

3.6

21.8%


4.4

3.6

21.8%


(1) The Francophone Africa business region includes Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Madagascar, Niger, Republic of the Congo, and Seychelles.

(2) Underlying revenue includes intra-segment eliminations of $44m for the year ended 31 March 2022 and $36m for the prior year. It also excludes one-time exceptional revenue of $20m relating to a settlement in Niger in the year ended 31 March 2021.

(3 ) Voice revenue includes inter-segment revenue of $2m in the year ended 31 March 2022. Excluding inter-segment revenue, voice revenue was $592m in the year ended 31 March 2022.

(4 ) Mobile money revenue post intra-segment eliminations with mobile services was $98m in the year ended 31 March 2022 and $74m in the prior year.

(5) Operating exceptional items in the prior year include exceptional revenue relating to a one-time settlement in Niger for $20m partially offset by one-off cost of $6m in Francophone Africa.

Underlying revenue grew by 17.2% both in reported currency and in constant currency. This growth was largely driven by DRC, Chad, Niger and Gabon. The slight currency devaluation of the Central African franc was offset by appreciation in the Seychelles rupee.

Voice underlying revenue grew by 10.0% in constant currency, driven by customer base growth of 15.9% partially offset by voice ARPU decline of 7.9%. The ARPU decline was mainly driven by reductions in international call revenue and local incoming call revenue (the latter due to changes in local interconnect rates in Gabon, Niger and Republic of the Congo). The customer base growth was driven by expansion of both network coverage and distribution infrastructure.

Data revenue grew by 31.0% in constant currency, supported by both customer base growth of 21.3% and data ARPU growth of 1.3%. We continued to expand our 4G network (65.3% of sites now on 4G) and data network coverage, and we enhanced our distribution infrastructure supporting further growth of the data customer base. 30.5% of the Francophone Africa customer base now use data services. 4G data usage contributes 64.1% of total data usage and 44.8% of data users were 4G customers. Data usage per customer was 2.4 GB per month (up 23.1% on the prior year) while 4G data usage per customer reached 4.5 GB (up 3.4%).

Mobile money revenue grew by 29.6% in constant currency, driven by both customer base growth of 21.8% and mobile money ARPU growth of 5.2%. The mobile money ARPU growth was driven by an increase in the transaction value per customer of 8.3%, now at $422 per customer per month. Expansions of our exclusive distribution network and the number of agents helped us to grow the mobile money customer base by 21.8%.

Underlying EBITDA grew by 27.6% with a margin of 41.0%, an improvement of 332 basis points in reported currency and 337 basis points in constant currency. This underlying EBITDA growth was driven by both revenue growth and increased efficiency in operating expenses.

Operating free cash flow was $339m, up 23.1%, due to the expansion in underlying EBITDA.

 

 

Mobile services

Description

Unit of

measure

Year ended

Quarter ended

Mar-22

Mar-21

Reported currency
change %

Constant currency
change %

Mar-22

Mar-21

Reported currency
change %

Constant currency
change %

Summarised statement of operations










Underlying revenue 1

$m

4,294

3,592

19.6%

22.0%

1,112

955

16.5%

18.3%

Underlying EBITDA

$m

2,077

1,639

26.8%

29.7%

542

456

18.9%

20.4%

Underlying EBITDA margin

%

48.4%

45.6%

276 bps

286 bps

48.7%

47.7%

100 bps

86 bps

Depreciation and amortisation

$m

(697)

(654)

6.5%

8.4%

(176)

(165)

6.5%

8.3%

Operating exceptional items 2

$m

(32)

14

-

-

(32)

1

-

-

Operating profit

$m

1,348

995

35.5%

39.0%

335

292

14.8%

16.1%

Capex

$m

621

580

7.1%

7.1%

217

185

17.1%

17.1%

Operating free cash flow

$m

1,456

1,059

37.6%

42.6%

325

271

20.0%

22.9%

Operating KPIs

 









Mobile voice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Voice revenue

$m

2,358

2,083

13.2%

15.4%

611

547

11.8%

13.6%

Customer base

million

128.4

118.2

8.7%


128.4

118.2

8.7%


Voice ARPU

$

1.6

1.5

5.9%

8.0%

1.6

1.5

3.9%

5.6%

Mobile data

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Data revenue

$m

1,525

1,157

31.8%

34.6%

397

315

26.0%

27.9%

Data customer base

million

46.7

40.6

15.2%


46.7

40.6

15.2%


Data ARPU

$

2.9

2.5

16.1%

18.6%

2.9

2.6

10.5%

12.1%

 (1) Mobile service revenue after inter-segment eliminations was $4,290m in the year ended 31 March 2022 and $3,587m in the prior year. Underlying revenue for Mobile service excludes one-time exceptional revenue of $20m relating to a settlement in Niger in the year ended 31 March 2021.

(2) Operating exceptional items of $32m in the year ended 31 March 2022 consist of a $12m provision for expected settlement of a contractual dispute in which one of the Group's subsidiaries is a party and $20m costs of agreeing historical spectrum fees in one of the Group's subsidiaries. The prior year operating exceptional items include exceptional revenue on account of a one-time settlement in Niger amounting to $20m, partially offset by one-off costs of $6m in Francophone Africa.

 

Mobile services underlying revenue in reported currency grew by 19.6%, with constant currency growth of 22.0%, supported by growth in both voice and data services.

Voice underlying revenue grew by 15.4% in constant currency, supported by customer base growth of 8.7% and voice ARPU growth of 8.0%. The customer base growth was driven by expansion of our network and distribution infrastructure. The slowdown in customer base growth was due to the introduction of new SIM registration regulations in Nigeria. Excluding Nigeria, the customer base grew by 10.2%. In Nigeria, our customer base returned to growth in the second half of the year, adding a net 2.4 million customers for the full year. Voice minutes per customer reached 257 minutes per month, up by 9.8%, resulting in voice ARPU growth of 8.0%. Total network minutes increased by 17.3%.

Data revenue continued to be a key driver of growth, up by 34.6% in constant currency. This was driven by data customer base growth of 15.2% and data ARPU growth of 18.6%. Our continued investment in our network and expansion of our 4G network infrastructure helped us to expand our data customer base. 87.6% of our Group sites are now operating on 4G, compared with 76.5% in the prior year. 36.4% of our total customer base were data users, up from 34.3% in the prior year. 4G data usage per customer increased to 5.5 GB per month compared with 5.0 GB in the prior year. 4G data usage reached 5.9 GB per customer per month for Q4'22. Total data usage per customer reached 3.4 GB per month, up 31.0% from the 2.6 GB of the prior year. At the end of the year, 42.6% of the total data customer base were 4G data customers, up from 36.4% in the prior year. The increase in 4G data customer penetration has helped to drive data ARPU growth.

Data revenue contribution reached 32.3% of total Group revenue in the year, up from 29.8% in the prior year.

 

 


Mobile money

Description

Unit of

measure

Year ended

Quarter ended

Mar-22

Mar-21

Reported currency
change %

Constant currency
change %

Mar-22

Mar-21

Reported currency
change %

Constant currency
change %

Summarised statement of operations










Revenue 1

$m

553

401

37.9%

34.9%

147

110

33.6%

29.0%

Underlying EBITDA

$m

270

195

38.1%

34.2%

72

54

33.6%

27.9%

Underlying EBITDA margin

%

48.7%

48.7%

5 bps

(27) bps

48.7%

48.7%

0 bps

(39) bps

Depreciation and amortisation

$m

(14)

(10)

34.8%

30.9%

(4)

(4)

(4.6%)

(7.4%)

Operating profit

$m

256

185

38.3%

34.4%

68

50

36.5%

30.5%

Capex

$m

25

32

(19.9%)

(19.9%)

5

25

(79.8%)

(79.8%)

Operating free cash flow

$m

245

163

49.6%

44.8%

67

29

129.7%

122.3%

Operating KPIs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mobile money key KPIs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Transaction value

$m

64,436

46,009

40.1%

37.0%

16,792

12,538

33.9%

29.2%

Active customers

million

26.2

21.7

20.7%


26.2

21.7

20.7%


Mobile money ARPU

$

1.9

1.7

14.7%

12.2%

1.9

1.7

12.7%

8.7%

 (1) Mobile money service revenue post inter-segment eliminations with mobile services was $424m in the year ended 31 March 2022 and $301m in the prior year.

 

Reported currency mobile money revenue grew by 37.9% with a constant currency growth of 34.9%. The slowdown in mobile money revenue growth since July 2021 has been due to the implementation of levies by the Government of Tanzania on mobile money withdrawal and P2P transactions (subsequently revised downwards in early September 2021). Excluding Tanzania, revenue grew by 41.6% in constant currency. The constant currency revenue growth of 34.9% was driven by both customer base growth of 20.7% and ARPU growth of 12.2%. The mobile money customer base growth was due to the expansion of our distribution network, particularly our exclusive channels of Airtel money branches and kiosks. We continued to expand our mobile money portfolio through partnerships with leading financial institutions, and the expansion of our merchant ecosystem further strengthened our mobile money propositions. The increase in transaction value per customer to $223 per month, up by 13.9%, led to mobile money ARPU growth of 12.2%.

Q4'22 annualised transaction value reached $67.2bn in reported currency, with mobile money revenue contributing 12.0% of total revenue in the quarter.

The mobile money customer base grew by 20.7% to 26.2 million in the year. Mobile money customer base penetration reached 20.4%, an increase of 2 percentage points. The ARPU growth of 12.2% was largely driven by an increase in transaction values and higher contributions from cash transactions, merchant payments, P2P transfers and mobile service recharges through Airtel Money.

Underlying EBITDA was $270m, up by 38.1% in reported currency, with a constant currency growth of 34.2%. The reported currency growth rate was higher than the constant currency growth rate due to appreciation in the Zambian kwacha. The underlying EBITDA margin for the year was 48.7%, broadly in line with the prior year.

 

 


Forward looking statements

This document contains certain forward-looking statements regarding our intentions, beliefs or current expectations concerning, amongst other things, our results of operations, financial condition, liquidity, prospects, growth, strategies and the economic and business circumstances occurring from time to time in the countries and markets in which the Group operates.

These statements are often, but not always, made through the use of words or phrases such as "believe," "anticipate," "could," "may," "would," "should," "intend," "plan," "potential," "predict," "will," "expect," "estimate," "project," "positioned," "strategy," "outlook", "target" and similar expressions.

It is believed that the expectations reflected in this document are reasonable, but they may be affected by a wide range of variables that could cause actual results to differ materially from those currently anticipated.

All such forward-looking statements involve estimates and assumptions that are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual future financial condition, performance and results to differ materially from the plans, goals, expectations and results expressed in the forward-looking statements and other financial and/or statistical data within this communication.

Among the key factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements are uncertainties related to the following: the impact of competition from illicit trade; the impact of adverse domestic or international legislation and regulation; changes in domestic or international tax laws and rates; adverse litigation and dispute outcomes and the effect of such outcomes on Airtel Africa's financial condition; changes or differences in domestic or international economic or political conditions; the ability to obtain price increases and the impact of price increases on consumer affordability thresholds; adverse decisions by domestic or international regulatory bodies; the impact of market size reduction and consumer down-trading; translational and transactional foreign exchange rate exposure; the impact of serious injury, illness or death in the workplace; the ability to maintain credit ratings; the ability to develop, produce or market new alternative products and to do so profitably; the ability to effectively implement strategic initiatives and actions taken to increase sales growth; the ability to enhance cash generation and pay dividends and changes in the market position, businesses, financial condition, results of operations or prospects of Airtel Africa.

Past performance is no guide to future performance and persons needing advice should consult an independent financial adviser. The forward-looking statements contained in this document reflect the knowledge and information available to Airtel Africa at the date of preparation of this document and Airtel Africa undertakes no obligation to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements.

No statement in this communication is intended to be, nor should be construed as, a profit forecast or a profit estimate and no statement in this communication should be interpreted to mean that earnings per share of Airtel Africa plc for the current or any future financial periods would necessarily match, exceed or be lower than the historical published earnings per share of Airtel Africa plc.

Financial data included in this document are presented in US dollars rounded to the nearest million. Therefore, discrepancies in the tables between totals and the sums of the amounts listed may occur due to such rounding. The percentages included in the tables throughout the document are based on numbers calculated to the nearest $1,000 and therefore minor rounding differences may result in the tables. Growth metrics are provided on a constant currency basis unless otherwise stated. The Group has presented certain financial information on a constant currency basis. This is calculated by translating the results for the current financial year and prior financial year at a fixed 'constant currency' exchange rate, which is done to measure the organic performance of the Group. Growth rates for our reporting regions and service segments are provided in constant currency as this better represents the underlying performance of the business.

 



Consolidated Financial Statements

Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income

(All amounts are in US Dollar Millions; unless stated otherwise)

 

Notes

For the year ended

 

31 March 2022

31 March 2021

Income

 

 


Revenue

5

4,714

3,908

Other income

 

10

11



4,724

3,919





Expenses




 Network operating expenses

 

817

 694

 Access charges

 

407

 376

 License fee and spectrum usage charges

 

244

 198

 Employee benefits expense

 

297

 275

 Sales and marketing expenses

 

224

 187

 Impairment loss on financial assets

 

5

 7

 Other operating expenses

 

451

 382

 Depreciation and amortisation

 

744

 681



3,189

2,800





Operating profit


1,535

1,119





Finance costs

 

441

 432

Finance income

 

(19)

 (9)

Other non-operating income

 

(111) 

 - 

Share of profit from associate

 

(0)

 (1)

Profit before tax


1,224

697





Income tax expense

7

469

282

Profit for the year

 

755

415





Profit before tax (as presented above)

 

1,224

697

Less: Exceptional items (net)

6

(60)

(14)

Underlying profit before tax


1,164

683





Profit after tax (as presented above)

 

755

415

Less: Exceptional items (net)

6

(62)

(50)

Underlying profit after tax

 

693

365









 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

Notes

For the year ended

 

31 March 2022

31 March 2021

 

 

 

 

Profit for the year (continued from previous page)

 

755

415

 

 

Other comprehensive income ('OCI')

 

 

 

  Items to be reclassified subsequently to profit or loss:

 



  Loss due to foreign currency translation differences


(4)

(147)

  Tax (expense)/credit on above

  Share of OCI of associate


(3)

1

 9

0

  Net loss on net investments hedge


(8)

(11)



(14)

(149)

  Items not to be reclassified subsequently to profit or loss:

 



  Re-measurement loss on defined benefit plans


 (0)

 (0)

  Tax credit on above


 0

 0



(0)

(0)





 Other comprehensive loss for the year

 

(14)

(149)





 Total comprehensive income for the year

 

741

266





 Profit for the year attributable to:

 

755

415





  Owners of the Company


631

339

  Non-controlling interests


124

76





 Other comprehensive loss for the year attributable to:


(14)

(149)

 




  Owners of the Company


(12)

(140)

  Non-controlling interests


(2)

(9)





 Total comprehensive income for the year attributable to:

 

741

266

 




  Owners of the Company


619

199

  Non-controlling interests


122

67









Earnings per share

 



  Basic

8

16.8c

9.0c

  Diluted

8

16.8c

9.0c

 

 

 



Consolidated Statement of Changes in Equity (All amounts are in US Dollar Millions; unless stated otherwise)

 



Equity attributable to owners of the company

Non-controlling interests (NCI)

Total
equity


 

Share Capital

Retained earnings

Other reserves

Equity attributable to owners of the company


 

No of shares(2)

Amount

Transactions with NCI reserve

Other components of equity


 



 As of 1 April 2020

6,839,896,081

3,420

2,805

 (585)

 (2,252)

3,388

 (107)

3,281


 

 









 Profit for the year

 - 

 - 

339

 - 

 - 

339

76

415


 Other comprehensive loss

 - 

 - 

(0)

 - 

 (140)

(140)

(9)

 (149)


 Total comprehensive income

 - 

339

 - 

(140)

199

67

266


 Transaction with owners of equity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 Employee share-based payment reserve

 - 

 - 

 (0)

 - 

 0

 0

 - 

 0


 Purchase of own shares

 - 

 - 

 - 

 - 

 (4)

 (4)

 - 

 (4)


 Transactions with NCI

 - 

 - 

 - 

 (9)

 - 

 (9)

 1

 (8)


 Dividend to owners of the company

 - 

 - 

 (169)

 - 

 - 

 (169)

 - 

 (169)


 Dividend (including tax) to NCI (1)

 - 

 - 

 - 

 - 

 - 

 - 

 (13)

 (13)


 As of 31 March 2021

 6,839,896,081

 3,420

 2,975

 (594)

 (2,396)

 3,405

 (52)

 3,353


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 Profit for the year

 - 

 - 

631

-

-

631

124

755


 Other comprehensive loss

 - 

 - 

(0)

-

(12)

(12)

(2)

(14)


 Total comprehensive income

-

 - 

631

-

(12)

619

122

741


 










 Transaction with owners of equity










 Employee share-based payment reserve

 - 

 - 

(1)

-

3

2

-

2


 Purchase of own shares

 - 

 - 

-

-

(6)

(6)

-

(6)


 Transactions with NCI  [Note 4 (g) & (h)]

 - 

 - 

-

(348)

(1)

(349)

153

(196)


 Dividend to owners of the company [Note 4 (a) & (b)]

 - 

 - 

(169)

-

-

(169)

-

(169)


 Dividend (including tax) to NCI (1)

 - 

 - 

-

-

-

-

(76)

(76)


 As of 31 March 2022

 6,839,896,081

 3,420

3,436

(942)

(2,412)

3,502

147

3,649


 

(1)  Dividend to NCI includes tax of USD 4m (March 2021: USD 0m). 

(2)  Includes ordinary and deferred shares.

 

 


Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows (All amounts are in US Dollar Millions; unless stated otherwise)

 



For the year ended

 

 

31 March 2022

31 March 2021

Cash flows from operating activities

 



Profit before tax

 

1,224

697

Adjustments for -

 



  Depreciation and amortization


744

681

  Finance income


(19)

(9)

  Finance cost(s)


441

432

  Share of profit of associate


(0)

(1)

  Other non-operating income adjustment [refer to note 4(c) and (f)]


(111)

  Other non-cash adjustments(1)


(6)

(15)





Operating cash flow before changes in working capital

 

2,273

1,785

Changes in working capital

 



  Increase in trade receivables


(18)

(8)

  Decrease / (Increase) in inventories


4

(4)

  Increase / (Decrease) in trade payables


34

(38)

  Increase in mobile money wallet balance


64

139

  Increase in provisions


14

1

  Increase in deferred revenue


27

17

  Decrease in income received in advance


-

(1)

  Increase in other financial and non financial liabilities


50

18

  Increase in other financial and non financial assets


(144)

(48)

Net cash generated from operations before tax

 

2,304

1,861

  Income taxes paid


(293)

(195)





Net cash generated from operating activities (a)

 

2,011

1,666

 

 



Cash flows from investing activities

 



  Purchase of property, plant and equipment and capital work-in-progress


(717)

(645)

  Proceeds from sale of tower assets [refer to note 4(c) and (d)]


171

-

  Purchase of intangible assets


(22)

(270)

  Maturity of deposits with bank


301

-

  Investment in deposits with bank(2)


(388)

(257)

  Proceeds from sale of tower subsidiary (net of cash acquired) [note 4(e) and (f)]


79

  Interest received


19

14

Net cash used in investing activities (b)

 

(557)

(1,158)

 

 



Cash flows from financing activities

 



  Proceeds from sale of shares to non-controlling interests [refer to note 4(g)]


550

  Acquisition of non-controlling interests [refer to note 4(h)]


(164)

(7)

  Purchase of own shares by ESOP trust


(6)

(4)

  Proceeds from issue of share to non-controlling interests


2

  Proceeds from borrowings


973

407

  Repayment of borrowings


(2,115)

(265)

  Repayment of lease liabilities


(251)

(208)

  Dividend paid to non-controlling interests


(48)

(9)

  Dividend paid to owners of the Company


(169)

(169)

  Interest on borrowings and lease liabilities and other finance charges


(370)

(317)

  Payment on maturity of derivatives


(9)

(3)

Net cash used in financing activities (c)

 

(1,607)

(575)

 

 



Decrease in cash and cash equivalents during the year (a+b+c)

 

(153)

(67)

Currency translation differences relating to cash and cash equivalents


(3)

(17)

 

 



Cash and cash equivalent as at beginning of the year


1,003

1,087

Cash and cash equivalents as at end of the year (Note 12) (3)

 

847

1,003

 

1.  For the year ended 31 March 2022, this mainly includes movement in trade receivables impairment and other provisions. For the year ended 31 March 2021, this mainly includes recognition of revenue pertaining to earlier years on a cumulative catch-up basis, arising out of a non-cash settlement agreement entered with a customer in one of the Group's subsidiaries in Niger.

2.  Includes investment in deposits with original maturity of more than 3 months and deposits placed against certain borrowings. These are included within other bank balances in the consolidated statement of financial position.

3.  Includes balance held under mobile money trust of USD 513m (2021: USD 440m) on behalf of mobile money customers which are not available for use by the Group.

Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements

(All amounts are in US Dollar Millions; unless stated otherwise)

1.  Corporate information

Airtel Africa plc ('the company') is a public company limited by shares incorporated in the United Kingdom under the Companies Act 2006 and is registered in England and Wales (registration number 11462215). The registered address of the company is First Floor, 53/54 Grosvenor Street, London W1K 3HU, United Kingdom. The company listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) on 3 July 2019 and on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NGX) on 9 July 2019. The company is a subsidiary of Airtel Africa Mauritius Limited ('the parent'), a company registered in Mauritius. The registered address of the parent is c/o IQ EQ Corporate Services (Mauritius) Ltd., 33, Edith Cavell Street, Port Louis, 11324, Mauritius.

The company, together with its subsidiary undertakings (hereinafter referred to as 'the Group') has operations in Africa. The principal activities of the Group and its associate consist of the provision of telecommunications and mobile money services.

 

2.  Basis of preparation

The results for the year ended 31 March 2022 are an abridged statement of the full annual report which was approved by the Board of Directors on 10 May 2022 and signed on its behalf on 10 May 2022. The consolidated financial statements within the full annual report are prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Companies Act 2006 and International Financial Reporting Standards as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and approved for use in the United Kingdom (UK) by the UK Accounting Standards Endorsement Board (UKEB).

The financial information set out above does not constitute the company's statutory accounts for the years ended 31 March 2022 and 2021, but is derived from those accounts. Statutory accounts for March 2021 have been delivered to the Registrar of Companies and those for 2022 will be delivered following the company's annual general meeting.

The financial information included in this release announcement does not itself contain sufficient information to comply with IFRS. The company will publish full financial statements that comply with IFRS, in June 2022.

All the amounts included in the financial statements are reported in United States dollars, with all values rounded to the nearest millions (USD m) except when otherwise indicated. Further, amounts which are less than half a million are appearing as '0'.

The accounting policies as set out in the following paragraphs of this note have been consistently applied by all the Group entities to all the periods presented in these financial statements.

3.  Going concern

 

These consolidated financial statements have been prepared on a going concern basis. In making this going concern assessment, the Group has considered cash flow projections to June 2023 under both base and reasonable worst case scenarios taking into considerations its principal risks and uncertainties including a reduction in revenue and EBITDA and a significant devaluation of the various currencies in the countries in which the Group operates including the Nigerian Naira. As part of this evaluation, the Group has considered available ways to mitigate these risks and uncertainties and has also considered committed undrawn facilities of USD 424m expiring beyond the going concern assessment period (total committed undrawn facilities as of the date of authorisation of these consolidated financial statements are USD 587m), which will fulfil the Group's cash flow requirement under both the base and reasonable worst case scenarios.

Having considered all the factors above impacting the Group's businesses, the impact of downside sensitivities, and the mitigating actions available including a reduction and deferral of capital expenditure, the directors are satisfied that the Group has adequate resources to continue its operational existence for the foreseeable future. Accordingly, the directors continue to adopt the going concern basis of accounting in preparing the consolidated and company only financial statements.

4.  Significant transactions/new developments

 

a)      The directors recommended and shareholders approved a final dividend of 2.5 cents per ordinary share for the year ended 31 March 2021, which was paid on 23 July 2021 to the holders of ordinary shares on the register of members at the close of business on 25 June 2021.

b)  The interim dividend of 2 cents per share was approved by the Board on 27 October 2021 and paid on 10 December 2021 to the holders of ordinary shares on the register of members at the close of business on 12 November 2021.

c)  On 2 June 2021, the Group signed an agreement to sell 1,445 towers in Tanzania to a joint venture company owned by a wholly-owned subsidiary of SBA Communications Corporation as majority owner and by Paradigm Infrastructure Limited, for a gross consideration of USD 177m. The first close of such sale was completed on 4 January 2022 and a portion of consideration amounting USD 160m was received. The Group has leased back a portion of such tower assets and thus a corresponding portion of the total gain on the sale has been recognized as a deduction in the cost of the Right of Use assets for the assets leased back. The resultant remaining gain (amounting to USD 83m) has been recorded as 'other non-operating income' and presented as an exceptional item (refer to Note 6(1)). The Group has recognised Right of Use assets and Lease Liabilities for the portion of towers leased back by the Group.

       Consequent to the completion of this sale, as per the settlement agreement with Government of Tanzania (GOT), shareholder loans payable by Airtel Tanzania (a subsidiary of the Group) to Bharti Airtel Tanzania BV ('BATBV') and Bharti Airtel International (Netherlands) B.V. ('BAIN') (other subsidiaries of the Group) amounting to USD 408m were forgiven after repayment of a part of the shareholder loan amounting USD 107m by Airtel Tanzania to BATBV. A portion of the impact of this waiver pertaining to the non-controlling holders has been allocated to non-controlling interest in the consolidated financial statements.

        As per the settlement agreement, Airtel Tanzania also paid a special dividend of USD 18m to its 49% shareholder, Government of Tanzania. The reduction in net assets of Airtel Tanzania (subsidiary) due to this distribution has been allocated to owners of the Company and non-controlling interests in the consolidated financial statements in proportion of their respective shareholdings.

d)  In line with the agreement to sell 162 towers in Rwanda, signed by the Group on 22 February 2021 with IHS Rwanda Ltd, during the year ended 31 March 2022, the Group completed the first and second close of the sale of telecommunication tower assets and received a consideration of USD 11m. Since the Group has leased back a portion of such tower assets, a corresponding portion of the total gain on the sale has been recognized as a deduction in the cost of the Right of Use asset for the assets leased back with the remaining gain (amounting to USD 4m) recorded as 'other non-operating income' and presented as an exceptional item (refer to Note 6(1)). The Group has recognised Right of Use assets and Lease Liabilities for the portion of towers leased back by the Group.

e)  In line with the agreement to sell, signed by the Group on 23 March 2021 with Helios Towers for gross consideration of USD 52m, during the year ended 31 March 2022, the Group completed the first and second close of the sale of the Group's subsidiary which holds tower assets in Madagascar and received consideration of USD 46m. Since the Group has leased back a portion of such tower assets, a corresponding portion of the total gain on the sale has been recognized as a deduction in the cost of the Right of Use asset for the assets leased back with the remaining gain (amounting to USD 5m) recorded as 'other non-operating income' and presented as an exceptional item (refer to Note 6(1)). The Group has recognised Right of Use assets and Lease Liabilities for the portion of towers leased back by the Group.

 


 


  The details of the consideration received, assets and liabilities over which control was lost and gain recorded during the year are as follows:


As of

A. Consideration received

2 November 2021

Fair value of consideration (first and subsequent closings)

49

B. Net assets disposed


Non-current assets


Property Plant and Equipment

18

Others

2

Current Assets


Cash and Cash Equivalents

2

Others

1

Total Assets

23

Current Liabilities

 

Trade Payables

4

Non-Current Liabilities


Others

2

Total Liabilities

6

Net Assets

17

C. Gain on Disposal(1)

5

D. Net Cash inflow on disposal

 

Consideration received in Cash and Cash Equivalents (at first and second close)

46

 

  (1) Gain on disposal has been computed after adjusting foreign currency translation losses reclassified to the statement of comprehensive income amounting to USD 6m and a gain amounting to USD 21m pertaining to the portion of assets leased back by the Group which has been recognized as a deduction in the right of use asset.

f)  In line with the agreement to sell, signed by the Group on 23 March 2021 with Helios Towers for gross consideration of USD 55m, the Group completed the first close of the sale of the Group's subsidiary which holds tower assets in Malawi on 24 March 2022 and received a portion of consideration amounting to USD 34m. Since the Group has leased back a portion of such tower assets, a corresponding portion of the total gain on the sale has been recognized as a deduction in the cost of the Right of Use assets for the assets leased back with the remaining gain (amounting to USD 19m) recorded as 'other non-operating income' and presented as an exceptional item (refer to Note 6(1)). The Group has recognised Right of Use assets and Lease Liabilities for the portion of towers leased back by the Group.

 

 

 


  The details of the consideration received, assets and liabilities over which control was lost and gain recorded during the year is as follows:


As of

A. Consideration received

24 March 2022

Fair value of consideration received (first and subsequent close)

51

B. Net assets disposed:


Non-current assets


Property Plant and Equipment

31

Right of use assets

3

Others

2



Current Assets


Cash and Cash Equivalents

2

Others

2

Total Assets

40

Current Liabilities

 

Trade Payables

5

Others

2

Non-Current Liabilities


Deferred tax liability

2

Others

3

Total Liabilities

12

Net Assets

28

C. Gain on Disposal(1)

19

D. Net Cash inflow on disposal

 

Consideration received in Cash and Cash Equivalents

34

 

  (1) Gain on disposal has been computed after adjusting Foreign Currency Translation gains reclassified to the statement of comprehensive income amounting to USD 11m and a gain amounting to USD 15m pertaining to the portion of assets leased back by the Group which has been recognized as a deduction in the right of use asset. 

g)   In March 2021, the Group had entered into agreements with TPG's The Rise Fund and Mastercard for the sale of non-controlling interests in one of the Group's subsidiaries (AMC BV) by way of secondary sale of AMC BV's shares.

        On 02 August 2021, the Group completed the first close of the transaction, whereby The Rise Fund and Mastercard invested USD 150m and USD 75m respectively.

        On 30 July 2021, the Group further entered into an agreement with Qatar Holdings LLC for the sale of further non-controlling interests in AMC BV and completed the first close of the transaction on 19 August 2021 receiving USD 150m from Qatar Holdings LLC.

On 16 November 2021, the Group completed the second close of the above transactions whereby The Rise Fund and Qatar Holdings LLC each invested a further USD 50m, and Mastercard a further USD 25m.

On 15 December 2021, the Group further entered into an agreement with Chimetech Holding Limited for the sale of further non-controlling interests in AMC BV and received USD 50m from Chimetech Holding Limited.

While the Group continues to control AMC BV, for all the above-mentioned investments, the Group has recorded a non-controlling interest including shares held within Escrow. These shares may transfer to the investors at the end of a restructuring period as per the terms of the agreements. The Group has concluded that it does not control the shares placed in Escrow and hence has recorded these shares as part of the Group's non-controlling interests.

          Under the terms of the transaction, and in very limited circumstances (including in the event that there is no Initial Public Offering of shares in AMC BV within four years of first close), The Rise Fund and Mastercard would have the option, so as to provide liquidity to them, to sell its shares in AMC BV to Airtel Africa or its affiliates at fair market value (determined by a mutually agreed merchant bank using an agreed internationally accepted valuation methodology). The Group has determined that successfully executing the IPO is not within complete control of the Group and has thus recorded a put option liability at the present value of the expected buy-back amount which is also the maximum amount, by debiting 'transactions with NCI reserve'. Subsequent re-measurement of this liability has been recognised as a finance cost.

h)  On 1 December 2021, Airtel Nigeria completed the buy-back of 8.22% non-controlling interest (out of existing 8.26%) from its non-controlling shareholders at a total cost of NGN 67.6 billion (approximately USD 163m) including directly attributable transaction costs. The difference between such cost and the carrying value of such non-controlling interest, has been recorded in 'Transaction with NCI reserve' as part of owner's equity.

 i)  On 7 March 2022, Bharti Airtel International (Netherlands) B.V., a subsidiary of the Group, completed early repayment of its USD 505m, 5.125% Guaranteed Senior Notes, with original maturity due in March 2023 using cash balances available at the Group level. The settlements included all outstanding accrued interest up to the redemption date and an applicable premium. The difference of USD 19m between the carrying value of such bonds and the total consideration paid has been recognized as a finance cost in the statement of comprehensive income and presented as an exceptional item.

j)  During the year ended 31 March 2022, Airtel Kenya Networks Limited ('Airtel Kenya'), a subsidiary of the Group, entered into an agreement with the Communications Authority of Kenya regarding its 2015-2025 operating and spectrum licence. Under this agreement, Airtel Kenya agreed to pay a total of USD 20m in four instalments over the next three years. The first instalment of USD 5m has been paid and for the balance amount, a deferred payment liability has been recognized in the consolidated financial statements. This cost has been charged to the statement of comprehensive income and presented as an exceptional item.

5.  Segmental Information    

The group's segment information is provided on the basis of geographical clusters to the group's chief executive officer i.e. chief operating decision maker (CODM) for the purposes of resource allocation and assessment of performance. The group's reporting segments are as follows:  

Nigeria

East Africa - Comprising operations in Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia

Francophone Africa - Comprising operations in Chad, Congo B, DRC, Gabon, Madagascar, Niger and Seychelles

Each segment derives revenue from mobile services, mobile money and other services. Expenses, assets and liabilities primarily related to the corporate headquarters of the Group are presented as Unallocated Items.

The amounts reported to CODM are based on the accounting principles used in the preparation of the financial statements. Each segment's performance is evaluated based on segment revenue and segment result.

The segment result is Underlying EBITDA i.e. earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation before exceptional items. In March 2021, Underlying EBITDA was also adjusted for charitable donations. This is the measure reported to the CODM for the purpose of resource allocation and assessment of segment performance.

Inter-segment pricing and terms are reviewed and changed by management to reflect changes in market conditions and changes to such terms are reflected in the period in which the change occurs.

The 'Eliminations/Adjustments' column comprises inter-segment revenues eliminated upon consolidation and Group accounting policy alignments.

Segment assets and segment liabilities comprise those assets and liabilities directly managed by each segment. Segment assets primarily include receivables, property, plant and equipment, capital work in progress, right-to-use assets, intangibles assets, inventories and cash and cash equivalents. Segment liabilities primarily include operating liabilities. Segment capital expenditure comprises investment in property, plant and equipment, capital work in progress, intangible assets (excluding licenses) and capital advances.

Investment elimination upon consolidation and resulting goodwill are reflected in the 'elimination /adjustment' column.

Summary of the segmental information and disaggregation of revenue for the year ended and as of 31 March 2022 is as follows:


 

Nigeria

 

East Africa

 

 Francophone Africa

 Unallocated

 Eliminations

 

 Total



 








Revenue from external customers

 







Voice revenue

984

782

592

-

-

2,358


Data revenue

734

457

334

-

-

1,525


Mobile money revenue(1)

0

326

98

-

-

424


Other revenue(2)

157

146

104

-

-

407



 

 

 

 

 

 



1,875

1,711

1,128

-

-

4,714


Inter-segment revenue

3

6

3

-

(12)

-


Total revenue

1,878

1,717

1,131

-

(12)

4,714


Segment results: Underlying EBITDA

1,037

848

464

(38)

(0)

2,311










Less:

 







Depreciation and amortisation

268

240

203

33

0

744


Finance costs






441


Finance income






(19)


Other non-operating Income, (net)






(111)


Share of profit of associate






(0)


Exceptional items pertaining to operating profit

-

32

-


-

32


Profit before tax

 





1,224


 








Other segment items

 







Capital expenditure

251

271

125

9

-

656










As of 31 March 2022

 







Segment assets

2,254

2,394

1,720

27,422

(23,426)

10,364


Segment liabilities

1,437

2,869

2,495

14,491

(14,577)

6,715


Investment in associate (included in segment assets above)

-

-

6

-

-

6


 

(1) intra-segment elimination of USD 129m adjusted with Mobile money revenue. It includes USD 85m pertaining to East Africa and balance USD 44m pertaining to Francophone Africa.

(2) it includes messaging, value added services, enterprise, site sharing and handset sale revenue.

 

 


 

Summary of the segmental information and disaggregation of revenue for the year ended and as of 31 March 2021 is as follows:


 

Nigeria

 

East Africa

 Francophone Africa

 Unallocated

 Eliminations

 

Total



 








Revenue from external customers

 







Voice revenue

896

649

558

0

2,103


Data revenue

549

 354

 254

 - 

 - 

 1,157


Mobile money revenue (1)

 0

 227

 74

 - 

 - 

 301


Other revenue (2)

 104

 147

 96

 - 

 - 

 347



 

 

 

 

 

 



 1,549

 1,377

 982

 0

 - 

 3,908


Inter-segment revenue

 3

 4

 3

 - 

 (10)

 - 


Total revenue

 1,552

 1,381

 985

 0

 (10)

 3,908


Segment results: Underlying EBITDA

839

 631

 364

 (42)

 -

 1,792










Less:

 







Depreciation and amortisation

 236

 221

 207

 17

 -

 681


Finance costs






432


Finance income






(9)


Share of profit of associate






(1)


Charitable donation

 1

 2

 1

 2

 - 

 6


Exceptional items pertaining to operating profit

 - 

 - 

 (14)

 - 

 - 

 (14)


Profit before tax

 





697


 








Other segment items

 







Capital expenditure

 275

 249

 88

 2

 - 

 614










As of 31 March 2021

 















Segment assets

 1,889

 2,042

 1,791

 29,207

 (24,937)

 9,992


Segment liabilities

 1,192

 2,989

 2,715

 16,907

 (17,164)

 6,639


Investment in associate (included in segment assets above)

 - 

 - 

 4

 - 

 - 

 4


 

(1) intra-segment elimination of USD 100m adjusted with mobile money revenue. It includes USD 64m pertaining to East Africa and balance USD 36m pertaining to Francophone Africa.

(2) it includes messaging, value added services, enterprise, site sharing and handset sale revenue.

Geographical information disclosure on non-current assets (PPE, CWIP, ROU, Intangible assets including goodwill and intangible assets under development):


As of

 

31 March 2022

31 March 2021

United Kingdom

1

1

Nigeria

1,670

1,455

Netherlands (including goodwill)

3,773

3,805

Others

2,529

2,341

Total

7,973

7,602

 

 

 

Additional product related information:

Currently, based on the information provided to the CODM for the purposes of resource allocation and assessment of performance, Group's segments are geographical clusters in which the Group operates. The Group also presents additional product-wise information to investors on a regular basis, however products do not currently meet the requirements of being operating segments for the Group. Given the increasing focus of the Group on mobile money services, the Directors have decided to provide additional disclosure on a product basis within this operating segment note, consistent with the information provided within the strategic report. The Group will continue re-assess its definition and presentation of operating segments, particularly in respect of mobile money as the size and importance to the Group grows.


For the year ended


31 March 2022

31 March 2021


Mobile Services

Mobile Money

Eliminations/

Adjustment

Total

Mobile Services

Mobile Money

Eliminations/

Adjustment

Total

Revenue

4,294

553

(133)

4,714

3,612

401

(105)

3,908

Underlying EBITDA

2,077

270

(36)

2,311

1,639

195

(42)

1,792

Depreciation and amortization

697

14

33

744

654

10

17

681

Capital Expenditure

621

25

10

656

580

32

2

614

 

6.  Exceptional items

Underlying profit before tax excludes the following exceptional items:


For the year ended

 

31 March 2022

31 March 2021

Profit before tax

1,224

697

 



Add: Exceptional items



- Gain on sale of tower assets (1)

(111)

-

- Spectrum fee agreement cost (2)

20

-

- Bond prepayment cost (3)

19

- Provision for settlement of contractual dispute (4)

12

- Service revenues (5)

-

(20) 

- Employee restructuring cost (6)

-


(60)

(14)

Underlying profit before tax

1,164

683

 

(1)  Represents the gain on the sale of telecommunication tower assets in the Group's subsidiaries in Tanzania, Rwanda, Madagascar, and Malawi, ( refer to Note 4(c) to 4(f)), as part of the Group's strategic asset monetisation programme recognised in other non-operating income.

(2)  Represents cost of agreeing historical spectrum fees in one of the Group's subsidiaries (refer to Note 4(j)) recognised in license fees and spectrum usage charges.

(3)  Comprises cost of prepaying USD 505m bonds with original maturity of March 2023 (refer to Note 4(i)) recognised in finance costs.

(4)  Represents provision for expected settlement of a contractual dispute in which one of the Group's subsidiaries is a party recognised in other operating expenses.

(5)  Represents recognition of revenue pertaining to earlier years on a cumulative catch-up basis, arising out of a settlement agreement entered with a customer in one of the Group's subsidiaries in Niger.

(6)  Comprises the cost of employee restructuring completed during the year ended 31 March 2021 in one of the Group's subsidiaries, including settlement of severance pay defined benefit plans recognised in employee benefit expenses.

 

 


 

Underlying profit after tax excludes the following exceptional items:


For the year ended

 

31 March 2022

31 March 2021

Profit after tax

755

415

-Exceptional items (as above)

(60)

(14)

- Tax on above exceptional items

(2)

- Deferred tax asset recognition (1)

-

(36)


(62)

(50)

Underlying profit after tax

693

365

(1)  During the year ended 31 March 2021, the Group recognised deferred tax assets in Airtel Tanzania. Airtel Tanzania had carried forward losses and temporary differences on which deferred tax was not recognised in the past. Considering that Airtel Tanzania has been in continuous and cumulative profits and on the basis of likely timing and the level of future taxable profits, the Group has determined that it is now probable that taxable profits will be available against which the tax losses and temporary differences can be utilised in the foreseeable future. Consequently, the deferred tax asset recognition criteria are met, leading to recognition of USD 36m during the year ended 31 March 2021.

Profit attributable to non-controlling interests include benefit of USD 33m and USD 19m during the year ended 31 March 2022 and 2021 respectively, relating to the above exceptional items.

7.   Income tax

  The tax expense is as follows:


For the year ended

 

31 March 2022

31 March 2021

 

 

 

Current tax

347

242

Deferred tax 

122

40

Income Tax expense

469

282

 

8.  Earnings per share ('EPS')

    For the year ended

 

31 March 2022

31 March 2021

 



Profit for the year attributable to owners of the Company

631

339

Weighted average ordinary shares outstanding for basic EPS

3,754,179,962

3,757,550,081