Airtel Africa plc results for year ended 31 March 2024

by Business Times
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15th May 2024

Delivering a resilient performance with strong underlying momentum, despite a volatile macro-economic environment

Operating highlights

  • Total customer base grew by 9.0% to 152.7 million. We continue to bridge the digital divide with a 17.8% increase in data customers to 64.4 million and a 20.8% increase in data usage per customer.
  • Mobile money subscriber growth of 20.7% reflects our continued investment into distribution to drive increased financial inclusion across our markets. Transaction value increase of 38.2% in constant currency with annual transaction value of over $112bn in reported currency. Increased transactions across the ecosystem reflects the enhanced range of offerings and increased customer adoption, supporting constant currency ARPU growth of 8.6%.
  • Continued network investment to support an enhanced customer experience and drive increased 4G coverage. 95% of sites now 4G operational, facilitating a 42.3% increase in 4G customers over the year.

Financial performance

  • Revenue in constant currency grew by 20.9% with growth accelerating to 23.1% in Q4’24. Nigerian constant currency revenue growth accelerated to 34.2% in Q4’24 despite the challenging backdrop. Reported currency revenues declined by 5.3% to $4,979m reflecting the impact of currency devaluation, particularly in Nigeria.
  • Across the group mobile services revenue grew by 19.4% in constant currency, driven by voice revenue growth of 11.9% and data revenue growth of 29.2%. Mobile Money revenue grew by 32.8% in constant currency, with a continued strong performance in East Africa.
  • EBITDA margins remained resilient at 48.8% despite the currency headwinds and inflationary pressure on our cost base. Constant currency EBITDA increased 21.3% with reported currency EBITDA declining 5.7% to $2,428m. Q4’24 EBITDA margins of 46.5% were impacted by the lower contribution of Nigeria following the Q4’24 naira devaluation and rising energy costs across a number of markets.
  • Loss after tax was $89m, primarily impacted by significant foreign exchange headwinds, resulting in a $549m exceptional loss net of tax following the Nigerian naira devaluation in June 2023 and Q4’24, and the Malawian kwacha devaluation in November 2023.
  • Basic EPS of negative (4.4 cents) compares to 17.7 cents last year. EPS before exceptional items was 10.1 cents, a decline of 25.9%. Both EPS before exceptional items and basic EPS were primarily impacted by significant derivative and foreign exchange losses during the year. EPS before exceptional items and derivative and foreign exchange losses was 18.3 cents compared to 20.5 cents in the prior period.

Capital allocation

  • Capex was broadly flat at $737m and was below our guidance largely due to a deferral in data centre investments. In addition, we invested $152m in licence renewal and spectrum acquisitions, including $127m for the Nigerian 3G licence renewal.
  • Leverage of 1.4x on 31 March 2024 was flat from the previous year. We have around $680m of cash available at HoldCo, to be utilized to fully repay the remaining $550m debt, falling due in May 2024.
  • The Board has approved a share buyback programme of up to $100m, over a period of up to 12 months. On 1 March 2024, we announced the commencement of the first tranche of this buyback up to a maximum of $50m. During March 2024, the company purchased 7.4 million shares for a total consideration of $9m.
  • The Board has recommended a final dividend of 3.57 cents per share, making the total dividend for FY24 5.95 cents per share.

1

Sustainability strategy

  • Our landmark five-year $57m partnership with UNICEF launched across 13 markets providing access to educational resources, free of charge, on our way to transforming the lives of over one million children through digital learning by 2027.
  • Partnered with the Government of Rwanda to launch the ConnectRwanda 2.0 initiative which aims to provide more than a million people with affordable smartphones to bridge the digital divide.

Olusegun Ogunsanya, Chief executive officer, on the trading update:

“The consistent deployment of our ‘Win with’ strategy supported the acceleration in constant currency revenue growth over the recent quarters which has reduced the impact of currency headwinds faced across most of our markets. This strong revenue performance is a reflection not only of the opportunity that is inherent across our markets, but also the resilience of our affordable offerings despite the inflationary pressure many of our customers have experienced.

Facilitating this growth has been, and will remain, fundamental to our performance. The investment in our distribution to catalyse growth, and the technology required to support this growth has been key. Furthermore, our rigorous approach to de-risking our balance sheet and our capital allocation priorities has materially reduced the risks that the currency de-valuation has had on our business. Key initiatives include the reduction of US dollar debt across the business and the ac-cumulation of cash at the HoldCo level to fully cover the outstanding debt due. We will continue to focus on reducing our exposure to currency volatility. At the beginning of March, we launched our first buyback programme reflecting the strength of our financial position.

The growth opportunity that exists across our markets remains compelling, and we are well positioned to deliver against this opportunity. We will continue to focus on margin improvement from the recent level as we progress through the year.

I want to say a particular thank-you to our customers, partners, governments and regulators for their support and our employees for their unrelenting contribution to the business. Our purpose of transforming lives across Africa will continue to be our highest priority.

GAAP measures (Year ended)
  DescriptionMar-24Mar-23Reported currency
$m$mchange
Revenue4,9795,255(5.3%)
Operating profit1,6401,757(6.7%)
(Loss)/Profit after tax(89)750(111.9%)
Basic EPS ($ cents)(4.4)17.7(124.9%)
Net cash generated from operating activities2,2592,2291.4%
Alternative performance measures (APM) 1 (Year ended)
  DescriptionMar-24Mar-23Reported currencyConstant currency
$m$mchangechange
Revenue4,9795,255(5.3%)20.9%
EBITDA2,4282,575(5.7%)21.3%
EBITDA margin48.8%49.0%(22) bps14 bps
EPS before exceptional items ($ cents)10.113.6(25.9%) 
Operating free cash flow1,6911,827(7.4%) 

(1) Alternative performance measures (APM) are described on page 50, with a reconciliation on page 53.

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 Alastair Jones Investor.relations@africa.airtel.com+447464830011 +442074939315
Hudson Sandler Nick Lyon Emily Dillon airtelafrica@hudsonsandler.com+442077964133

Key consolidated financial information

    Description  Unit of measureYear endedQuarter ended
  Mar-24  Mar-23Reported currency change %Constant currency change %  Mar-24  Mar-23Reported currency change %Constant currency change %
Profit and loss summary     
Revenue 1$m4,9795,255(5.3%)20.9%1,1181,341(16.6%)23.1%
Voice revenue$m2,1792,491(12.5%)11.9%472619(23.8%)13.7%
Data revenue$m1,7341,787(3.0%)29.2%391469(16.5%)31.1%
Mobile money revenue 2$m83769221.1%32.8%20617617.0%35.5%
Other revenue$m417437(4.6%)23.4%97116(16.5%)25.7%
Expenses$m(2,572)(2,694)(4.5%)20.9%(600)(686)(12.6%)26.3%
EBITDA 3$m2,4282,575(5.7%)21.3%520659(21.0%)19.3%
EBITDA margin%48.8%49.0%(22) bps14 bps46.5%49.1%(259) bps(148) bps
Depreciation and amortisation$m(788)(818)(3.6%)23.3%(173)(220)(21.0%)17.9%
Operating profit$m1,6401,757(6.7%)20.3%347439(21.0%)20.0%
Other finance cost – net of finance income$m(896)(723)24.0% (142)(204)(30.3%) 
Finance cost – exceptional items 4$m(807)0.0% (323)0.0% 
Total finance cost 5$m(1,703)(723)(135.6%) (465)(204)127.9% 
(Loss)/Profit before tax$m(63)1,034(106.1%) (118)233(150.8%) 
Tax$m(284)(445)(36.1%) (77)(105)(26.3%) 
Tax – exceptional items 6$m25816160.1% 104995.5% 
Total tax credit/(charge)$m(26)(284)(90.8%) 27(6)(548.0%) 
(Loss)/Profit after tax$m(89)750(111.9%) (91)227(140.2%) 
Non-controlling interest$m(76)(87)(12.7%) (13)(32)(58.9%) 
Profit attributable to owners of the company – before exceptional items  $m  380  512  (25.8%)   115  106  8.1% 
(Loss)/Profit attributable to owners of the company$m(165)663(124.9%) (104)195(153.2%) 
EPS – before exceptional itemscents10.113.6(25.9%) 3.02.87.8% 
Basic EPScents(4.4)17.7(124.9%) (2.8)5.2(153.2%) 
Weighted average number of sharesmillion3,7513,752(0.0%) 3,7503,7500.0% 
Capex$m737748(1.4%) 243291(16.5%) 
Operating free cash flow$m1,6911,827(7.4%) 277368(24.6%) 
Net cash generated from operating activities$m2,2592,2291.4% 493518(4.7%) 
Net debt$m3,5053,5243,5053,524
Leverage (net debt to EBITDA)times1.4x1.4x1.4x1.4x
Return on capital employed%23.0%23.3%(31) bps 23.9%23.4%48 bps 
Operating KPIs     
ARPU$2.83.3(13.3%)10.7%2.43.2(23.8%)12.5%
Total customer basemillion152.7140.09.0% 152.7140.09.0% 
Data customer basemillion64.454.617.8% 64.454.617.8% 
Mobile money customer basemillion38.031.520.7% 38.031.520.7% 

(1) Revenue includes inter-segment eliminations of $188m for the year ended 31 March 2024 and $152m for the prior year.

(2) Mobile money revenue post inter-segment eliminations with mobile services was $649m for the year ended 31 March 2024, and $540m for the prior year.

(3) EBITDA includes other income of $21m for the year ended 31 March 2024 and $13m for the prior period.

(4) Exceptional items of $807m for the year ended 31 March 2024 relates to derivative and foreign exchange losses following the devaluation of the Nigerian naira ($770m) in June 2023 and three-month period ended 31 March 2024 as well as Malawian kwacha devaluation in November 2023 ($37m), respectively.

(5) Please refer to the commentary on finance costs as part of ‘Financial review’ section on page 5.

(6) Tax exceptional items of $258m for the year ended 31 March 2024 reflects the gain corresponding to the $807m exceptional item referred to in point 4 above. $161m exceptional tax gain in the prior period reflects the recognition of deferred tax credit in Kenya, Democratic Republic of the Congo & Tanzania.

Financial review for the year ended 31 March 2024

Revenue

Group revenue in reported currency declined by 5.3% to $4,979m, with constant currency growth of 20.9%, which accelerated to 23.1% in Q4’24. Reported currency revenue growth was particularly impacted by significant currency devaluations in Nigeria, Malawi, Zambia and Kenya. Group mobile services revenue grew by 19.4% in constant currency, with voice revenue growth of 11.9% and data revenues growing 29.2%. In Nigeria, constant currency mobile services revenues increased by 25.8%, whilst East Africa saw 21.5% growth and Francophone Africa increased by 9.2%. Mobile money revenue grew by 32.8% in constant currency, primarily driven by continued strong growth in East Africa.

EBITDA

Reported currency EBITDA declined by 5.7% to $2,428m reflecting the impact of currency devaluation over the period, particularly in Nigeria. In constant currency, EBITDA increased to 21.3% with EBITDA margins of 48.8%, up by 14bps. Reported currency EBITDA margins of 48.8% remained resilient despite the currency and inflationary headwinds faced in several markets. Mobile services EBITDA increased 18.8% in constant currency as operating leverage and cost efficiencies continued to limit the FX headwinds and inflationary pressure over the year. Mobile money EBITDA margins of 52.1% increased 234bps in constant currency, supporting growth of 39.0%.

Nigeria currency devaluation impact on revenue and EBITDA

During the period, the Nigerian naira devalued significantly from 461 per US dollar in March 2023 to 1,303 per US dollar in March 2024. The impact of the Nigerian naira devaluation on reported revenue and EBITDA for the year ending 31 March 2024 was $1,042m and $554m respectively. As the currency devaluation occurred at various stages during the year, revenue and EBITDA in the reporting period does not reflect the full year impact. As a result, the next financial year reported currency results will continue to reflect the currency headwinds experienced during FY’24. If the closing rate of 1,303 NGN/USD were to be used to consolidate the results of the Group for the year ended 31 March 20241, reported revenue would have declined further by $603m to $4,376m (16.7% YoY decline) as opposed to the 5.3% decline reported. Similarly, EBITDA would have declined further by $324m to $2,104m (18.3% YoY decline) as opposed to the 5.7% decline reported, with an EBITDA margin of 48.1% (Q4’24: 46.4%).

For future sensitivity on currency devaluation, refer to the Risk section on page 21.

Finance costs

Total finance costs for the year ended 31 March 2024 was $1,703m, primarily impacted by $1,259m of derivative and foreign exchange losses (reflecting the revaluation of US dollar balance sheet liabilities and derivatives) as a result of the currency devaluation primarily in Nigeria and Malawi. Finance costs excluding derivative and foreign exchange losses increased from $385m to $444m in the current period primarily on account of shift of foreign currency debt to local currency debt in the operating entities carrying a higher average interest rate.

Out of $1,259m derivative and foreign exchange losses, $807m was classified as an exceptional item as per the company’s policy on exceptional items2 of which $770m is related to Nigerian naira devaluation and $37m is related to Malawian kwacha devaluation.

(Loss)/Profit before tax

Loss before tax at $63m during the year ended 31 March 2024 was largely impacted by the $807m exceptional losses discussed above. Excluding these exceptional items, profit before tax for year ended 31 March 2024 was $744m.

1 Relates to currency translation impact only and reflects no change to the operating performance of the Nigerian business.

2 Refer ‘Note on exceptional items’ on Page 55

Taxation

Total tax charges were $26m as compared to $284m in the prior period. Total tax charges reflected an exceptional gain of

$258m on account of the Nigerian naira and Malawian kwacha devaluation during the current period compared with recognition of deferred tax credit of $161m in Kenya, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Tanzania in the prior period, hence a higher exceptional gain of $97m. Tax charges excluding exceptional items were $284m compared to $445m in the prior period.

Tax charge of $26m during the year ended 31 March 2024, despite a loss before tax of $63m was due to change in profit mix between various OpCos and withholding taxes on dividends by subsidiaries.

(Loss)/Profit after tax

Loss after tax of $89m during the year ended 31 March 2024 was primarily impacted by the $549m net of tax impact of the exceptional derivative and foreign exchange losses. Excluding these exceptional items, profit after tax for year ended 31 March 2024 was $460m.

Basic EPS

Basic EPS at negative 4.4 cents during the year ended 31 March 2024 was impacted by the derivative and foreign exchange losses as explained above. EPS before exceptional items and derivative and foreign exchange losses for the year ended 31 March 2024 was 18.3 cents.

Leverage

Leverage of 1.4x as on 31 March 2024 was broadly flat from the previous year despite our significant investments and the currency devaluation in several markets which resulted in lower reported currency EBITDA as compared to the previous year. The remaining debt at HoldCo is now $550m, falling due in May 2024. Cash at HoldCo was around $680m at the end of the period and the Group is fully geared to repay the HoldCo debt when due using this cash.

GAAP measures Revenue

Reported revenue of $4,979m, declined by 5.3% in reported currency, and grew by 20.9% in constant currency driven by both customer base growth of 9.0% and ARPU growth of 10.7%. The gap between constant currency and reported currency revenue growth was due to the average currency devaluations between the periods, mainly in the Nigerian naira, the Malawi kwacha, the Zambian kwacha , and the Kenyan shilling, partially offset by an appreciation in the Central African franc.

Reported mobile services revenue at $4,338m, declined 8.1%, and grew by 19.4% in constant currency. Constant currency growth was driven by growth of 25.8% in Nigeria, 21.5% in East Africa and 9.2% in Francophone Africa, respectively. Mobile money revenue grew by 21.1% in reported currency. In constant currency, mobile money revenue grew by 32.8%, driven by revenue growth in East Africa of 36.0% and Francophone Africa of 22.3%.

Operating profit

Operating profit in reported currency declined by 6.7% to $1,640m as currency headwinds offset strong revenue growth and continued improvements in operating efficiency across the Group.

Total finance costs

Total finance costs for the year ended 31 March 2024 of $1,703m, increased $980m over the prior period. Finance costs were primarily impacted by $807m of exceptional derivative and foreign exchange losses arising in Nigeria and Malawi, following the significant currency devaluation during the period.

The Group’s effective interest rate increased to 10.1% compared to 7.7% in the prior period, largely driven by higher local currency debt at the OpCo level, in line with our strategy of localising debt at OpCo.

Taxation

Total tax charges of $26m declined from $284m in the prior period. Total tax charges reflected an exceptional gain of $258m on account of the Nigerian naira and Malawian kwacha devaluation during the current period, compared to an exceptional gain of $161m in the prior period on account of deferred tax credits in Kenya, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Tanzania. As a result, total tax charges reflected a higher exceptional gain of $97m in the current period. The tax charge of

$284m is net of a tax gain of $30m arising from the reversal of deferred tax liability on account of a reduction of undistributed retained earnings of Nigeria. This reduction is an indirect consequence of the impact of the Nigerian naira devaluation.

(Loss)/Profit after tax

(Loss) after tax of $89m during the year ended 31 March 2024 was primarily impacted by the $549m net of tax impact of the exceptional derivative and foreign exchange losses.

Basic EPS

Basic EPS at negative 4.4 cents during the year ended 31 March 2024 was impacted by the derivative and foreign exchange losses as explained above.

Net cash generated from operating activities

Net cash generated from operating activities was $2,259m, up 1.4% as compared to $2,229m in the prior period.

Alternative performance measures3 EBITDA

EBITDA of $2,428m, declined by 5.7% in reported currency, and increased by 21.3% in constant currency. Growth in constant currency EBITDA was led by revenue growth and supported by continued improvement in operating efficiencies which limited the impact that inflationary cost pressures had in a number of markets. The EBITDA margin declined by 22 basis points in reported currency to 48.8%.

The gap between constant currency and reported currency EBITDA growth was due to the currency devaluations between the periods, mainly in the Nigerian naira, the Malawi kwacha, the Zambian kwacha, and the Kenyan shilling, partially offset by an appreciation in the Central African franc.

Tax

The effective tax rate was 38.4%, compared to 38.8% 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 32%, largely due to the profit mix between various OpCos and withholding taxes on dividends by subsidiaries.

Exceptional items

The exceptional item of $807m is on account of derivative and foreign exchange losses following the devaluation of the Nigerian naira in June 2023 and Q4’24, and the Malawian kwacha in November 2023. This has resulted in an exceptional tax gain of $258m as compared an exceptional tax gain of $161m in the prior period on account of deferred tax credits in Kenya, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Tanzania.

EPS before exceptional items

EPS before exceptional items of 10.1 cents declined by 25.9% compared to 13.6 cents in the prior period primarily impacted by the significant derivative and foreign exchange losses during the year. EPS before exceptional items and derivative and foreign exchange losses was 18.3 cents compared to 20.5 cents in the prior period.

Operating free cash flow

Operating free cash flow was $1,691m, lower by 7.4%, as a result of lower EBITDA during the period partially offset by lower capex in current period.

3 Alternative performance measures (APM) are described on page 50, with a reconciliation on page 53.

Other significant updates

Commencement of share buy-back programme

On 1 February 2024, the company announced that in light of the increase in HoldCo cash, current leverage and the consistent strong operating cash generation, the Board intended to launch a share buy-back programme of up to $100m, over a 12 month period. The Board believes that repurchasing its own shares is an attractive use of its capital in light of the Group’s strong long term growth outlook. The programme will be executed using its cash reserves and in accordance with applicable securities laws and regulation.

On 1 March 2024, Airtel Africa plc announced the commencement of its share buyback programme, further to the announcement on 1 February 2024 following the publication of its nine-month results ended 31 December 2023. The share buy-back programme is expected to be phased over two tranches, with the first tranche commencing on 1 March 2024 and anticipated to end on or before 31 August 2024. The first tranche will amount to a maximum of $50 million, with Airtel Africa entering into an agreement with Citigroup Global Markets Limited to conduct the buy-back on its behalf. During March 2024, the company purchased 7.4 million shares for a total consideration of $9m.

Directorate changes

On 6 February 2024, Airtel Africa plc announced that John Danilovich has informed the Board of his intention to retire as an independent non-executive director of Airtel Africa plc at the conclusion of this year’s AGM in July 2024.

On 30 October 2023 and 31 October 2023 Kelly Bayer Rosmarin and Doug Baillie, respectively retired as non-executive directors of Airtel Africa plc.

On 9 May 2024, Airtel Africa plc announced the appointment of Paul Arkwright, CMG, as an independent non-executive director of the Company, with immediate effect.

Nigerian naira devaluation

On 14 June 2023, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced changes to the operations in the Nigerian Foreign Exchange (FX) market, including the abolishment of segmentation, with all segments now collapsing into the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window and the reintroduction of the ‘Willing Buyer, Willing Seller’ model at the I&E window. As a result of the CBN decision, the US dollar has appreciated against the Nigerian naira in the I&E window. The market expectation is that the new foreign currency policy and subsequent realignment of the several market exchange rates will provide greater US dollar liquidity over time and help to alleviate the challenges faced in the last few years to access US dollars in the market.

On 29 January 2024, the FMDQ Securities Exchange Limited (‘FMDQ’) notified the market of its amendment to the methodology applied for the computation of the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Fixing (‘NAFEX’) being the exchange rate used to consolidate the results of Airtel Africa’s Nigeria region. This development further impacted the Nigerian naira during the period. The closing NAFEX rate as of 31 March 2024, was NGN1,303 per US dollar.

The impact of both these events resulted in derivative and foreign exchange losses of $770m in the year which were classified as exceptional.

The Group continues to invest in Nigeria to enable it to capture the growth opportunity. This continued investment will facilitate growth, drive continued digitalisation across the country, facilitate economic progress and transform lives across Nigeria.

Retirement of Airtel Africa plc CEO and appointment of Successor

On 2 January 2024, Airtel Africa plc announced the retirement of Chief Executive Officer Olusegun “Segun” Ogunsanya and the appointment of Sunil Taldar, who joined Airtel Africa in October 2023 as Director – Transformation, as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Following a transition period, Sunil Taldar will be appointed to the Board as an Executive Director and assume the role of CEO on 1 July 2024, at which time Segun will retire from the Board and the Company.

Launch of Nxtra by Airtel

In December 2023, Airtel Africa launched Nxtra by Airtel (“Nxtra”), a new data centre business founded on a commitment to meet the continent’s growing needs for trusted, and sustainable data centre capacity and to serve the fast-growing African digital economy. It aims to build one of the largest network of data centres in Africa with high-capacity data centres in major cities located strategically across Airtel Africa’s footprint, complementing its existing edge sites. Nxtra’s ambition will allow it to serve the growing need of African enterprises and its data centre infrastructure will be designed to host the next generation of computing, while providing multi-MW capacity in a phased manner.

Nigerian Communications Commission directive on subscriber registration compliance

In December 2023, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) informed Airtel Nigeria, in an industry-wide directive, to undertake full network barring of all SIMs that have failed to submit their National Identity Numbers (NIN) on or before 28 February 2024. Likewise, customers that have submitted their NINs, but remain unverified are to be barred by 31st July 2024 (earlier deadline was 15 April 2024). Furthermore, guidelines were issued whereby no customer can have more than 4 active SIMs and all such excess SIMs be barred by 29 March 2024. This directive is part of the ongoing Federal Government NIN-SIM harmonisation exercise requiring all subscribers to provide valid NIN information to update SIM registration records.

Airtel Nigeria has complied with the directives issued and barred all customers without NINs as well as customers with more than 4 active SIMs which had a very negligible impact on revenue. Currently we are engaging with approximately 5.7m customers whose NIN are yet to be verified. Since the directive was issued in December 2023, 7.9m customers have already been verified. We continue to engage with the NCC and work closely with the relevant authorities to facilitate and accelerate the verification process to minimise the risk of service disruption to these customers, whilst also limiting the revenue impact from our compliance to the directive issued.

Devaluation of the Malawian Kwacha by the Reserve Bank of Malawi

In November 2023, the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) announced structural changes to the foreign exchange market with its decision to adjust the exchange rate from selling rate of MWK 1,180 to a selling rate of MWK 1,700 to the US dollar with effect from 9 November 2023.

As part of the structural changes, RBM started authorizing dealer banks to freely negotiate exchange rates to trade with their clients and amongst themselves, notwithstanding any limitations previously in place.

The devaluation resulted in a foreign exchange loss of $37m and is classified as exceptional.

Uganda Initial Public Offering (IPO)

On 29 August 2023, Airtel Uganda Limited issued a prospectus in relation to the offer for sale of 8,000,000,000 ordinary shares, representing 20% of Airtel Uganda Limited on the Uganda Stock Exchange (USE) in-line with the 20% minimum public listing obligation for all National Telecom Operators under the current Uganda Communications (Fees & Fines) (Amendment) Regulations 2020. The issued shares of Airtel Uganda were listed on the Main Investment Market Segment of the USE on 7 November 2023 at UGX100 per share.

On completion of the IPO in November 2023, 4.4bn shares (10.89% of Airtel Uganda’s total share capital) were transferred to minority shareholders, whilst the entire 40bn shares began trading on the Main Investment Market Segment of the USE. Airtel Uganda received a 3-year waiver from the Uganda Securities Exchange from the requirement to transfer the remaining 9.11% required to meet the 20% shareholding listing requirement.

Nigeria 2100 MHz spectrum renewal

On 9 May 2023, the Group announced that its Nigerian subsidiary, Airtel Networks Limited (‘Airtel Nigeria’), had made a payment of NGN58.7bn ($127.4m), payable to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), to renew its 2x10MHz 2100 MHz spectrum licence, which will be valid for a period of 15 years following the expiry of the previous licence (30 April 2022).

This investment to renew the licence reflects our continued confidence in the opportunity inherent across the Nigerian market, supporting the local communities and economies through furthering digital inclusion and connectivity.

Uganda spectrum

The regulator had previously issued an invitation to apply for spectrum in various bands (700, 800, 2300, 2600, 3300, 3500, etc). On 26 June 2023, the Uganda Communications Commission confirmed that Airtel Uganda Limited had qualified for the award of 10 MHz of 800 MHz and 100 MHz of 3500 MHz spectrum. There is no upfront payout for spectrum but, instead, there is an annual payout of $1.2m for a period of 17 years, which is the validity period for the spectrum.

Share capital reduction

On 15 August 2023, Airtel Africa announced the cancellation and extinction of all its deferred shares of USD 0.50 nominal value each (the ‘capital reduction’), which was approved by shareholders at the annual general meeting of the Company held on 4 July 2023. The cancellation and extinction was sanctioned by the High Court of England and Wales (the ‘High Court’). The effect of the capital reduction is to create additional distributable reserves which will be available to the company going forward and may be used to facilitate returns to shareholders in the future, whether in the form of dividends, distributions or purchases of the company’s own shares.

The company confirms that, following the capital reduction, the issued share capital of the company will be 3,758,151,504 ordinary shares of USD 0.50 nominal value each, carrying one vote each. There are no shares held in treasury. The total voting rights in the company therefore will be 3,758,151,504.

Dividend payment timetable

The board has recommended a final dividend of 3.57 cents for the financial year ended 31 March 2024, payable on 26 July 2024 to shareholders recorded in the register at the close of business on 21 June 2024.

Last day to trade shares cum dividend                                                           19 June 2024 Shares commence trading ex-dividend                                                           20 June 2024 Record date                                                                  21 June 2024

Last date for currency election                         8 June 2024

Payment date                                                  26 July 2024

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, low smartphone penetration, low data penetration and relatively unbanked populations. Unique mobile user penetration across the Group’s footprint is around 48%, 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, whilst at the same time growing our revenues profitably across each of our key services of voice, data and mobile money.

The Group continues 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 are at the core of our strategy, through our corporate purpose of transforming lives.

The digitalisation of our products and services is fundamental to enabling the success of each pillar within our ‘win with’

strategy. In addition, the digitisation of our internal systems and processes ensures we optimise our operating flexibility.

Underpinning the Group’s business strategy for growth is our sustainability strategy which supports our well-established corporate purpose of transforming lives, our continued commitment to driving sustainable development and acting as a responsible business. Our sustainability strategy sets out our goals and commitments to foster financial inclusion, bridge the digital divide and serve more customers in some of the least penetrated telecommunication markets in the world.

This year, we continued to make strong progress across each of our core strategic pillars: ‘Win with technology’, ‘Win with distribution’, ‘Win with data’, ‘Win with mobile money’, ‘Win with cost’ and ‘Win with people’.

Win with technology

The Group remains focused on delivering best-in-class services, expanding 4G networks and has launched new 5G technology in key markets including Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia following the acquisition of 5G spectrum. Reaching underserved communities is a key priority, and we continue to: 1) increase rural coverage through new site rollouts, 2) acquire additional spectrum and 3) invest in new technology across our markets.

As part of ensuring our services are future ready, in addition to purchasing spectrum, we grew our fibre infrastructure and tested our 5G capabilities. After exploring the potential for additional third-party revenue streams, we have invested in data centres to further support digital inclusion across our markets. We continued to strengthen our fibre business, which is now delivering encouraging revenue growth. During the year we added a further around 5,000 km of fibre, with a total of 75,400+ km now deployed.

Furthermore, we expanded our international data capacity via submarine cables by 100% to 3.1 Tbps with current 45% utilization through a combination of adding additional routes and capacity.

Overall, the capacity investment has resulted in a 32.7% increase in data capacity – reaching 31,700+ terabytes (TB) per day, with peak hour data utilization at 53% allowing for increased network resilience and an enriched service continuity.

Following substantial spectrum acquisitions in FY’23, we further invested in the renewal of 2100 MHz spectrum in Nigeria during this period. Continued investment into spectrum across our markets will further enhance network capacity and coverage.

Win with distribution

We continue to strengthen our exclusive channel of kiosks/mini-shops and Airtel Money branches along with multi-brand outlets in both urban and rural markets. We offer a simplified and enhanced Know Your Customer (KYC) app to provide a seamless customer onboarding experience. These have enabled us to add customers, resulting in customer base growth of 9.0%, and supported voice revenue growth of 11.9% 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 over 27,800 kiosks and mini shops (taking the total to almost 89,600 kiosks and mini shops) and adding 1,550+ Airtel Money branches (AMB), taking the total to 19,500+ AMBs across our footprint. The Group also added around 59,600 activating outlets, an increase of 19.6%.

Win with data

With continued investments in the expansion of our 4G network and launching 5G in several OpCo’s, the clear focus is on enhancing customer experience across the network. This is not only for mobile users but also for broadband enterprise users to support continued data ARPU and data revenue growth.

Expansion of the 4G network and improved user experience has helped drive increased smartphone penetration, customer ARPU and consumption per data user across the segments. Smartphone penetration was up 4.2 percentage points to 40.5% and data customer grew by 17.8%, now representing 42.1% of our total base. Smartphone data customers grew by 24.7% leading to higher consumption & ARPU growth.

Data usage per customer per month also grew by 20.8% and reached 5.4 GB per month from 4.4 GB a year ago. This increase was led by increased smartphone penetration and an expansion of our home broadband and enterprise customers.

All the above contributed to a 29.2% growth in constant currency data revenue. 4G handset users’ data usage constituted 88.3% of total data usage on the network in Q4’24 growing at 61.3%, with 4G data usage per data customer of over 8.7GB per month.

Win with mobile money

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.

During the period, we focussed on growing our ecosystem and driving customer acquisition. We launched new international money transfer routes, as well as new loan products and continued to integrate more partners into our ecosystem.

We continued to expand our exclusive distribution channel of AMBs and kiosks to ensure availability of services to customers, even in the rural areas. The number of kiosks and mini shops increased by 45% and Airtel Money branches by over 8.7%. Furthermore, our non-exclusive channel of mobile money agents expanded by 53%, following implementation of our digital on-boarding journey. Our distribution expansion and enhanced offerings helped drive 20.7% growth in our mobile money customer base, now serving 38.0 million customers, which represents 24.9% of our total customer base.

Our Nigeria PSB licence remains an opportunity for the Group. During this year, we accelerated our customer acquisition strategy and our customer base is 1.5 million active customers. We continue to build the ecosystem to grow our transaction value.

Along with data, mobile money continues to be one of our fastest growing services, delivering revenue growth of 32.8% in full year. It is an increasingly important part of our business, with over $112bn of annual transaction value in reported currency. Mobile money revenue accounts for 16.8% of the Group revenues in the period.

Mobile money ARPU increased by 8.6% in constant currency over the period, driven by increased transaction values and higher contributions from cash transactions, P2P transfers and mobile services recharges through Airtel Money.

Win with cost

Despite the impact of inflationary pressure across the Group and continuing high fuel prices across countries, our ‘win with

cost’ initiatives have continued to support margin resilience across the Group.

We continue our focus on enhancing cost efficiency through changes in the operating design and response to the macroeconomic changes, an example of which is the roll out of a majority of new sites using green initiatives (solar, batteries and grid connection). We embrace robust cost discipline and continuously seek to improve our processes to reduce operating costs, delivering one of the highest EBITDA margins in the industry. We also continue to embrace 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.

We are undertaking various cost efficiency initiatives to mitigate the headwinds, relating mainly to: (i) working with active equipment manufacturers to implement energy saving features to reduce energy consumption, (ii) working with tower companies (towercos) to invest more in energy efficient equipment (including in lithium batteries and solar equipment),

(iii) enhance grid connectivity, (iv) transmission re-routing to optimise lease line capacity and (v) shift towards digital recharges, especially through Airtel Money to reduce commission pay-outs.

Win with people

We continue to operate in a highly competitive and volatile business landscape and therefore our ongoing commitment to our employees remains integral to winning despite operating environment headwinds.

We have developed various mechanisms to ensure that our employees remain heard, this includes our engagement sur- vey which is used to measure employee sentiment on key matters affecting them including engagement, reward, values and collaboration amongst others. The next engagement survey will be conducted in July 2024. 81% of employees partici- pated in the last employee engagement survey, being 2% higher than the previous survey. In addition to the engage- ment survey other mechanisms where we engage with our people meaningfully include one on one discussions with sen- ior leadership, including when our leadership visits to our OpCo’s. These mechanisms enable us to identify strength areas, areas of improvement with actionable insight for improvement and opportunities for continuous collaboration across our business.

We recognise the importance of having diverse teams considering the diverse communities we serve across our 17 opera- tions. Gender diversity remains a key focus area with 28.3% of women in our workforce (up from 26% in the prior period), and we had an increase of different nationalities to 43 (from 39 in the prior period). Additional focus on accelerating the recruitment and promotion by merit of female talent within the business remains in focus.

Talent capability and capacity has remained a key focus throughout the year. We focused on updating our learning con- tent across our online and classroom platforms to build capability for now and for the future. In addition, on-the-job training, coaching and leadership, building leadership capability and functional expertise remains at the heart of our learn- ing and development programmes.

Through our Executive leadership development, Africa Mobility and Women for Tech programs, we have been able to support talent development and retention which continues to help us build succession planning across critical roles. These programmes offer exposure and learning opportunities to our high potential and top performing talent as part of an accelerated career development programme.

Our high-performance culture remains true to who we are. This is aligned to our reward philosophy where ‘pay for perfor- mance’ based on key result areas which each employee is measured on and consistently strives to meet and exceed.

We are cognisant that by providing great work experiences for our people, we are able to drive greater employee engage- ment and satisfaction. This in turn leads to improved performance, innovation and subsequently transformative experi- ences for both our employees and in the communities where we serve.

Financial review for the year ended 31 March 2024

Nigeria – Mobile services

  Description  Unit of measureYear endedQuarter ended
  Mar-24  Mar-23Reported currency changeConstant currency change  Mar-24  Mar-23Reported currency changeConstant currency change
Summarised statement of operations     
Revenue$m1,5032,128(29.4%)25.8%266543(51.0%)34.1%
Voice revenue 1$m7111,053(32.5%)19.6%124262(52.7%)29.0%
Data revenue$m654884(25.9%)32.1%116230(49.6%)38.0%
Other revenue 2$m138191(27.9%)30.6%2651(48.5%)43.1%
EBITDA$m8111,101(26.3%)30.9%139284(51.1%)32.8%
EBITDA margin%54.0%51.7%226 bps209 bps52.2%52.3%(7) bps(52) bps
Depreciation and amortisation$m(264)(344)(23.3%)38.2%(41)(97)(57.1%)26.5%
Operating profit$m509721(29.4%)25.4%89177(49.7%)36.2%
Capex$m252293(13.9%)(13.9%)74126(40.9%)(40.9%)
Operating free cash flow$m559808(30.8%)68.6%65158(59.1%)225.1%
Operating KPIs     
Total customer basemillion50.948.45.3% 50.948.45.3% 
Data customer basemillion27.423.814.9% 27.423.814.9% 
Mobile services ARPU$2.53.8(33.2%)19.0%1.73.8(53.9%)26.4%

(1) Voice revenue includes inter-segment revenue of $1m in the year ended 31 March 2024 and in the prior period. Excluding inter-segment revenue, voice revenue was $710m in year ended 31 March 2024 and $1,052m in the prior period.

(2) Other revenue includes inter-segment revenue of $2m in the yearended 31 March 2024 and in the prior period. Excluding inter-segment revenue, other revenue was $136m in year ended 31 March 2024 and $189m in the prior period.

Revenue grew by 25.8% in constant currency, with growth accelerating to 34.1% in Q4’24 largely driven by strong data demand. In reported currency, revenues declined by 29.4% to $1,503m on account of the significant devaluation of the Nigerian naira. The constant currency revenue growth was driven by both customer base growth of 5.3% and ARPU growth of 19.0%. Customer base growth in current period was negatively impacted by barring of customers pursuant to KYC directives by the regulator. Q4’24 reported currency revenues declined by 51.0% reflecting the impact of Nigerian naira devaluation during the period.

Voice revenue grew by 19.6% in constant currency, driven by both customer base growth of 5.3% and voice ARPU growth of 13.2%.

Data revenue grew by 32.1% in constant currency, as a function of both data customer and data ARPU growth of 14.9% and 14.0%, respectively. Data usage per customer increased by 25.4% to 6.3 GB per month (from 5.0 GB in the prior period). Our continued 4G network rollout has resulted in nearly 100% of all our sites delivering 4G services. Further 235 sites are 5G enabled.

Other revenues grew by 30.6% in constant currency, contributed by growth in messaging and value-added services coupled with 32.8% growth in leased line revenue.

EBITDA of $811m declined by 26.3% in reported currency, but increased by 30.9% in constant currency. The EBITDA margin increased by 226 basis points to 54.0%. During the period, there was a one-time opex benefit of $7m on account of VAT refunds on tower rentals. Excluding this benefit, the FY’24 EBITDA margin would have increased by 180 basis points. The increase in EBIDTA margin was primarily due to the growth in constant currency revenues, supported by continued cost efficiencies. The Q4’24 EBITDA margin of 52.2% – below the FY’24 EBITDA margin of 54.0% – reflects the recent increase in diesel costs. Diesel prices have increased significantly in Q4’24 but remain volatile. If current levels persist, the full impact will be reflected in future EBITDA margins.

Operating free cash flow was $559m, up by 68.6% in constant currency, largely due to the strong EBITDA growth and lower capex in current period.

East Africa – Mobile services1

  Description  Unit of measureYear endedQuarter ended
  Mar-24  Mar-23Reported currency changeConstant currency change  Mar-24  Mar-23Reported currency changeConstant currency change
Summarised statement of operations     
Revenue$m1,6221,5087.5%21.5%3953804.2%22.5%
Voice revenue 2$m8518361.8%14.8%200204(2.0%)15.0%
Data revenue$m62153715.5%31.0%15614011.2%31.0%
Other revenue 3$m15013510.6%26.1%393611.1%31.9%
EBITDA$m7887554.3%17.1%185193(4.1%)12.4%
EBITDA margin%48.6%50.1%(151) bps(182) bps46.7%50.7%(401) bps(418) bps
Depreciation and amortisation$m(287)(260)10.6%23.3%(72)(70)2.6%17.5%
Operating profit$m452459(1.5%)11.9%101112(9.8%)8.9%
Capex$m28425610.9%10.9%107979.5%9.5%
Operating free cash flow$m5044990.9%20.6%7896(18.2%)15.6%
Operating KPIs     
Total customer basemillion69.462.710.7% 69.462.710.7% 
Data customer basemillion26.621.921.5% 26.621.921.5% 
Mobile services ARPU$2.02.1(2.9%)9.7%1.92.0(5.9%)10.7%

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

(2) Voice revenue includes inter-segment revenue of $1m in the year ended 31 March 2024 and in the prior period. Excluding inter-segment revenue, voice revenue was $850m in year ended 31 March 2024 and $835m in the prior period.

(3) Other revenue includes inter-segment revenue of $12m in the year ended 31 March 2024 and $11m in the prior period. Excluding inter-segment revenue, other revenue was $138m in year ended 31 March 2024 and $124m in the prior period.

East Africa revenue grew by 7.5% in reported currency to $1,622m, and by 21.5% in constant currency. The constant currency growth was made up of voice revenue growth of 14.8%, data revenue growth of 31.0% and other revenue growth of 26.1%. The differential in growth rates is primarily contributed by the devaluation in Zambian kwacha, Malawi kwacha and Kenya shilling.

Voice revenue grew by 14.8% in constant currency, driven by both customer base growth of 10.7% and voice ARPU growth of 3.6%. The customer base growth was largely driven by expansion of both increased network coverage and the increasing scale of the distribution network. Voice ARPU growth of 3.6% was supported by an increase in voice usage per customer by 6.0% to 407 minutes per customer per month partially offset by the interconnect rate reduction in Tanzania and Rwanda.

Data revenue grew by 31.0% in constant currency, largely driven by data customer base growth of 21.5% and data ARPU growth of 4.2%. Our continued investment in the network and expansion of 4G network infrastructure helped us grow both the data customer base and usage levels. 96.4% of our East Africa network sites are now on 4G, compared to 90.4% in the prior period. Further,799 sites are 5G enabled in four markets. In Q4’24, total data usage per customer increased to 5.1 GB per customer per month, up by 20.1%.

EBITDA increased to $788m, up by 4.3% in reported currency and up by 17.1% in constant currency. EBITDA margin at 48.6%, declined by 151 basis points which was primarily impacted by rising fuel prices in several of our key markets, with the biggest impact being witnessed in Q4’24.

Operating free cash flow was $504m, up by 20.6% in constant currency, due largely to EBITDA growth, partially offset by increased capex.

Francophone Africa – Mobile services1

  Description  Unit of measureYear endedQuarter ended
  Mar-24  Mar-23Reported currency changeConstant currency change  Mar-24  Mar-23Reported currency changeConstant currency change
Summarised statement of operations     
Revenue$m1,2131,09011.3%9.2%3002826.5%6.0%
Voice revenue 2$m6226072.4%0.4%149154(3.3%)(3.7%)
Data revenue$m45936625.4%22.9%1199821.8%21.2%
Other revenue 3$m13211713.5%12.3%32306.8%6.7%
EBITDA$m5124806.9%4.7%118124(5.1%)(5.8%)
EBITDA margin%42.2%44.0%(176) bps(182) bps39.2%44.0%(478) bps(490) bps
Depreciation and amortisation$m(209)(190)10.4%8.3%(54)(47)14.0%13.6%
Operating profit$m2552550.0%(2.0%)5167(23.5%)(24.4%)
Capex$m1571513.9%3.9%4857(15.6%)(15.6%)
Operating free cash flow$m3553288.2%5.1%70674.0%2.3%
Operating KPIs     
Total customer basemillion32.328.911.8% 32.328.911.8% 
Data customer basemillion10.48.916.0% 10.48.916.0% 
Mobile services ARPU$3.33.3(0.6%)(2.4%)3.13.3(4.9%)(5.3%)

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

(2) Voice revenue includes inter-segment revenue of $3m in the year ended 31 March 2024 and in the prior period. Excluding inter-segment revenue, voice revenue was $619m in year ended 31 March 2024 and $604m in the prior period.

(3) Other revenue includes inter-segment revenue of $3m in the yearended 31 March 2024 and in the prior period. Excluding inter-segment revenue, other revenue was $129m in year ended 31 March 2024 and $114m in the prior period.

Revenue grew by 11.3% in reported currency and by 9.2% in constant currency. Higher reported currency growth as compared to constant currency is due to the appreciation in the Central African franc, partially offset by a devaluation in the Madagascar ariary.

Voice revenue grew by 0.4% in constant currency, as customer base growth of 11.8% was partially offset by a decline in voice ARPU. Voice ARPU was negatively impacted by an interconnect rate reduction in Congo B and Niger while the customer base growth was driven by the expansion of both network coverage and distribution infrastructure.

Data revenue grew by 22.9% in constant currency, supported by customer base growth of 16.0%. Increased data usage across the network supported ARPU growth of 2.9%. Our continued 4G network rollout resulted in an increase in total data usage of 49.1% and per customer data usage increase of 24.8%. For Q4’24, data usage per customer increased to 4.6 GB per month (up from 3.8 GB in the prior period).

EBITDA at $512m, increased by 6.9% and 4.7% in reported and constant currency, respectively. The EBITDA margin declined to 42.2%, a decline of 182 basis points in constant currency. The EBITDA margin decline was mainly due to a one-time opex benefit of $19m in the prior period. The EBITDA margin in Q4’24 was impacted by an increase in fixed frequency fees in a key market combined with a slowdown in revenue growth in key markets.

Operating free cash flow was $355m, increased by 5.1% in constant currency, due to the increased EBITDA, partially offset by increased capex.

Mobile services

  Description  Unit of measureYear endedQuarter ended
  Mar-24  Mar-23Reported currency changeConstant currency change  Mar-24  Mar-23Reported currency changeConstant currency change
Summarised statement of operations     
Revenue 1$m4,3384,721(8.1%)19.4%9621,205(20.2%)21.5%
Voice revenue$m2,1792,491(12.5%)11.9%472619(23.8%)13.7%
Data revenue$m1,7341,787(3.0%)29.2%391469(16.5%)31.1%
Other revenue$m425443(4.1%)23.5%99117(16.1%)25.8%
EBITDA$m2,1152,336(9.5%)18.8%443602(26.5%)14.8%
EBITDA margin%48.8%49.5%(73) bps(26) bps46.0%50.0%(397) bps(273) bps
Depreciation and amortisation$m(760)(794)(4.2%)23.4%(166)(213)(21.9%)19.6%
Operating profit$m1,2191,435(15.0%)14.0%243358(32.2%)11.0%
Capex$m693700(1.0%)(1.0%)229280(18.2%)(18.2%)
Operating free cash flow$m1,4221,636(13.1%)30.9%214322(33.6%)59.3%
Operating KPIs     
Mobile voice     
Customer basemillion152.7140.09.0% 152.7140.09.0% 
Voice ARPU$1.21.5(19.9%)2.4%1.01.5(30.3%)4.0%
Mobile data     
Data customer basemillion64.454.617.8% 64.454.617.8% 
Data ARPU$2.43.0(19.4%)7.3%2.12.9(30.0%)9.9%

(1) Mobile service revenue after inter-segment eliminations was $4,330m in the year ended 31 March 2024 and $4,715m in the prior period.

Overall revenue from mobile services declined by 8.1% in reported currency with growth of 19.4% in constant currency. The constant currency growth was evident across all regions and services. Mobile services revenue grew in Nigeria by 25.8%, in East Africa by 21.5% and in Francophone Africa by 9.2%, respectively.

Voice revenue grew by 11.9% in constant currency, supported by both customer base growth of 9.0% and voice ARPU growth of 2.4%. Customer base growth was driven by the expansion of our network and distribution infrastructure. The voice ARPU growth of 2.4% was supported by an increase in voice usage per customer of 5.2%, reaching 286 minutes per customer per month, with total minutes on the network increasing by 14.9%.

Data revenue grew by 29.2% in constant currency, driven by both customer base growth of 17.8% and data ARPU growth of 7.3%. The customer base growth was recorded across all the regions supported by the expansion of our 4G network. 95.0% of our total sites are now on 4G, compared with 90.3% in the prior period. 5G is operational across five countries, with 1,034 sites deployed. In Q4’24, data usage per customer increased to 5.7 GB per customer per month (from 4.6 GB in the prior period). In the full year ended 31 March 2023, data revenue contributed to 40.0% of total mobile services revenue, up from 37.8% in the prior period.

EBITDA was $2,115m, declined 9.5% in reported currency and up by 18.8% in constant currency. The EBITDA margin declined by 73 basis points to 48.8%, a decline of 26 basis points in constant currency.

Operating free cash flow was $1,422m, up by 30.9% in constant currency, due to the increased EBITDA.

Mobile money

  Description  Unit of measureYear endedQuarter ended
  Mar-24  Mar-23Reported currency changeConstant currency change  Mar-24  Mar-23Reported currency changeConstant currency change
Summarised statement of operations     
Revenue 1$m83769221.1%32.8%20617617.0%35.5%
Nigeria$m2000
East Africa$m63553119.8%36.0%15413514.1%38.2%
Francophone Africa$m20016124.3%22.3%524126.4%25.9%
EBITDA$m43634426.8%39.0%1098824.4%43.5%
EBITDA margin%52.1%49.8%236 bps234 bps52.9%49.8%315 bps294 bps
Depreciation and amortisa- tion$m(18)(17)6.0%22.7%(4)(5)(11.7%)11.3%
Operating profit$m40531827.6%39.5%1028126.5%45.6%
Capex$m2733(19.5%)(19.5%)10741.9%41.9%
Operating free cash flow$m40931131.6%45.6%998123.0%43.7%
Operating KPIs     
Mobile money customer basemillion38.031.520.7% 38.031.520.7% 
Transaction value$bn112.388.626.8%38.2%27.724.314.1%30.2%
Mobile money ARPU$2.02.0(0.9%)8.6%1.81.9(2.9%)12.5%

(1) Mobile money service revenue post inter-segment eliminations with mobile services was $649m in the year ended 31 March 2024 and $540m in the prior year.

Mobile money revenue grew by 21.1% in reported currency, with constant currency growth of 32.8% accelerating to 35.5% in Q4’24. The differential in growth rates is primarily as the result of devaluation in Zambian kwacha and Malawi kwacha, partially offset by appreciation in Central African franc. The constant currency mobile money revenue growth was driven by revenue growth in both East Africa and Francophone Africa of 36.0% and 22.3%, respectively. In Nigeria, Company was focussed on customer acquisition through the year with 1.5 million of active customers registered for mobile money services in Nigeria at the end of March 2024. Annualised transaction value for Nigeria SmartCash grew by 15% in the current quarter as compared to quarter ended December 2023. Additionally, we added almost 39,000 agents during the quarter reaching almost 205,000 agents as of 31 March 2024.

The constant currency revenue growth of 32.8% was driven by both our customer base growth of 20.7% and mobile money ARPU growth of 8.6%. The expansion of our distribution network, particularly our exclusive channels of Airtel Money branches and kiosks, supported customer base growth of 20.7%. The mobile money ARPU growth of 8.6% was driven by transaction value per customer growth of 13.1% in constant currency, to $262 per customer per month.

Annual transaction value amounted to over $112bn in reported currency, with mobile money revenue contributing 16.8% of total Group revenue during the full year period ending 31 March 2024.

EBITDA was $436m, up by 26.8% and 39.0% in reported and constant currency, respectively. The EBITDA margin reached 52.1%, an improvement of 234 basis points in constant currency and 236 basis points in reported currency, driven by continued operating leverage.

Regional performance Nigeria

  Description  Unit of measureYear endedQuarter ended
Mar-24Mar-23Reported currency changeConstant currency changeMar-24Mar-23Reported currency changeConstant currency change
Revenue$m1,5042,128(29.3%)25.9%266543(51.0%)34.2%
Voice revenue$m7111,053(32.5%)19.6%124262(52.7%)29.0%
Data revenue$m654884(25.9%)32.1%116230(49.6%)38.0%
Mobile money revenue$m2000
Other revenue$m138191(27.9%)30.6%2651(48.5%)43.1%
EBITDA$m8051,093(26.3%)30.8%138281(51.0%)33.0%
EBITDA margin%53.5%51.4%218 bps202 bps51.8%51.8%(3) bps(48) bps
Operating KPIs     
ARPU$2.53.8(33.1%)19.1%1.73.8(53.8%)26.4%

East Africa

  Description  Unit of measureYear endedQuarter ended
  Mar-24  Mar-23Reported currency changeConstant currency change  Mar-24  Mar-23Reported currency changeConstant currency change
Revenue$m2,1251,93110.1%24.6%5164875.9%25.5%
Voice revenue$m8518361.8%14.8%200204(2.0%)15.0%
Data revenue$m62153715.5%31.0%15614011.2%30.9%
Mobile money revenue$m63553019.9%36.0%15413514.1%38.2%
Other revenue$m14513110.2%25.9%383411.3%31.9%
EBITDA$m1,1341,0329.8%23.8%2702642.4%21.5%
EBITDA margin%53.3%53.5%(13) bps(31) bps52.3%54.1%(179) bps(172) bps
Operating KPIs     
ARPU$2.62.7(0.6%)12.4%2.52.6(4.3%)13.4%

Francophone Africa

  Description  Unit of measureYear endedQuarter ended
  Mar-24  Mar-23Reported currency changeConstant currency change  Mar-24  Mar-23Reported currency changeConstant currency change
Revenue$m1,3501,20112.4%10.3%3363108.4%7.9%
Voice revenue$m6226072.4%0.4%149154(3.3%)(3.7%)
Data revenue$m45936625.4%22.9%1199821.8%21.3%
Mobile money revenue$m20016124.3%22.3%524126.4%25.9%
Other revenue$m13111513.6%12.2%32306.6%6.4%
EBITDA$m62056310.2%8.1%1461450.2%(0.5%)
EBITDA margin%46.0%46.9%(93) bps(97) bps43.4%46.9%(355) bps(366) bps
Operating KPIs     
ARPU$3.73.70.4%(1.4%)3.53.6(3.2%)(3.6%)

Consolidated performance

  Description  UoMYear ended – March 2024Year ended – March 2023
Mobile servicesMobile moneyUnallo- catedElimina- tionsTotalMobile servicesMobile moneyUnallo- catedElimina- tionsTotal
Revenue$m4,338837(196)4,9794,721692(158)5,255
Voice revenue$m2,179 2,1792,491 2,491
Data revenue$m1,734 1,7341,787 1,787
Other revenue$m425 (8)417443 (6)437
EBITDA$m2,115436(123)2,4282,336344(105)2,575
EBITDA margin%48.8%52.1%  48.8%49.5%49.8%  49.0%
Depreciation and amortisation$m(760)(18)(10)(788)(794)(17)(7)(818)
Operating profit$m1,219405161,6401,43531841,757

Risk factors

The Group’s business and industry in which it operates together with all other information contained in this document, including, in particular, the risk factors summarised below. Additional risks and uncertainties relating to the Group that are currently unknown to the Group, or those the Group currently deems immaterial, may, individually or cumulatively, also have a material adverse impact on the Group’s business, results of operations and financial position.

Summary of principal risks

The Group continually monitors its external and internal environment to identify risks which have the ability to impact its operations or the achievement of its objectives. This year, the Group principal risks now reflect risks related to geo- political uncertainties and adverse macro-economic environments.

  1. We operate in a competitive environment with the potential for aggressive competition by existing players, or the entry of new players, which could both put a downward pressure on prices, adversely affecting our revenue and profitability.
  2. Failure to innovate through simplifying the customer experience, developing adequate digital touchpoints in line with changing customer needs and competitive landscape could lead to loss of customers and market share.
  3. Global geopolitical and regional tensions have the potential to impact our business directly and indirectly due to the interconnectedness of the global supply chain. Relatedly, adverse macroeconomic conditions such as rising inflation and increased cost of living not only puts pressure on the disposable income of our customers but also increases the cost of inputs for our business negatively impacting sales and profitability.
  4. Cybersecurity threats through internal or external sabotage or system vulnerabilities could potentially result in customer data breaches and/or service downtimes.
  5. Adverse changes in our external business environment and macro-economic conditions such as supply chain disruptions, increase in global commodity prices and inflationary pressures could lead to a significant increase in our operating cost structure while also negatively impacting the disposable income of consumers. These adverse economic conditions therefore not only put pressure on our profitability but also on customer usage for our services.
  6. Shortages of skilled telecommunications professionals in some markets and the inability to identify and de- velop successors for key leadership positions could both lead to disruptions in the execution of our corporate strategy.
  7. Our internal control environment is subject to the risk that controls may become inadequate due to changes in internal or external conditions, new accounting requirements, delays, or inaccuracies in reporting.
  8. Our ability to provide quality of service to our customers and meet quality of service (QoS) requirements depends on the robustness and resilience of our technology stack and ecosystem encompassing hardware, software, products, services, and applications and our ability to respond appropriately to any disruptions. However, telecommunications networks are subject to the risks of technical failures, aging infrastructure, hu- man error, wilful acts of destruction or natural disasters.
  9. We operate in a diverse and dynamic legal, tax and regulatory environment. Adverse changes in the political, macro-economic and policy environment could have a negative impact on our ability to achieve our strategy. While the group makes every effort to comply with its legal and regulatory obligations in all its operating jurisdictions in line with the group’s risk appetite, we are however continually faced with an uncertain and constantly evolving legal, regulatory, and policy environment in some of the markets where we operate.
  10. Our multinational footprint means we are constantly exposed to the risk of adverse currency fluctuations and the macroeconomic conditions in the markets where we operate. We derive revenue and incur costs in local currencies where we operate, but we also incur costs in foreign currencies, mainly from buying equipment and services from manufacturers and technology service providers. That means adverse movements in ex- change rates between the currencies in our OpCos and the US dollar could have a negative effect on our liquidity and financial condition. In some markets, we face instances of limited supply of foreign currency within the local monetary system. This not only constrains our ability to fully benefit at Group level from strong cash generation by those OpCos but also impacts our ability to make timely foreign currency payments to our international suppliers.

Given the severity of this risk, specifically in some of our OpCos, the Group management continuously monitors the potential impact of this risk of exchange rate fluctuations based on the following methodology:

  1. Comparing the average devaluation of each currency in the markets in which the Group operates against US dollar on 3-year and 5-year historic basis and onshore forward exchange rates over a 1-year period.
    1. If either of the above devaluation is higher than 5% per annum, management selects the highest of these ex- change rates.
    1. Management then uses this exchange rate to monitor the potential impact of using such rate on the Group’s income statement so that the Group can actively monitor and assess the impact on the Group’s financials due to exchange rate fluctuations.

Additionally, for our Nigerian operations, management uses different sensitivity analysis for scenario planning purposes which include the impact of the devaluation from the recent changes to the operations in the Nigerian Foreign Exchange (FX) market.

With respect to currency devaluation sensitivity going forward, on a 12-month basis assuming that the USD appreciation occurs at the beginning of the period, a further 1% USD appreciation across all currencies in our OpCos would have a negative impact of $45m – $47m on revenues, $21m – $22m on EBITDA and $21m – $23m on foreign exchange loss (excluding derivatives). Our largest exposure is to the Nigerian naira, for which on a similar basis, a further 1% USD appreciation would have a negative impact of $10m – $11m on revenues, $5m – $6m on EBITDA and $8.5m – $10.5m on foreign exchange loss (excluding derivatives).

This does not represent any guidance and is being used solely to illustrate the potential impact of further currency devaluation on the Group for the purpose of exchange rate risk management. The accounting under IFRS is based on exchange rates in line with the requirements of IAS 21 ‘The Effect of Changes in Foreign Exchange’ and does not factor in the devaluation mentioned above.

Based on above-mentioned specific methodology for the identified OpCos, management evaluates specific mitigation ac- tions based on available mechanisms in each of the geographies. For further details on such mitigation action, refer to the risk section of the Annual Report and Accounts 2022/23.

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 performance of the business.

Airtel Africa plc

Results for the year ended 31 March 2024 Consolidated Financial Statements

Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income

(All amounts are in US$ millions unless stated otherwise)

                       For the year ended            
 Notes31 March 202431 March 2023
Income   
Revenue54,9795,255
Other income 2113
  5,0005,268
Expenses   
Network operating expenses 9261,027
Access charges 314410
License fee and spectrum usage charges 244241
Employee benefits expense 301287
Sales and marketing expenses 576521
Impairment loss on financial assets 514
Other operating expenses 206193
Depreciation and amortisation 788818
  3,3603,511
Operating profit 1,6401,757
Finance costs   
– Derivative and foreign exchange losses   
Nigerian naira 1,070224
Other currencies 189114
– Other finance costs 482414
Finance income (38)(29)
Share of profit of associate and joint venture accounted for using equity method (0)(0)
(Loss)/profit before tax (63)1,034
Income tax expense726284
(Loss)/profit for the year (89)750
(Loss)/profit before tax (as presented above) (63)1,034
Add: Exceptional items6807
Underlying profit before tax 7441,034
    
(Loss)/profit after tax (as presented above) (89)750
Add/(Less): Exceptional items6549(161)
Underlying profit after tax 460589
                        For the year ended            
 Notes31 March 202431 March 2023
  (Loss)/profit for the year (continued from previous page)   (89)  750
Other comprehensive income (‘OCI’)   
Items to be reclassified subsequently to profit or loss:   
Loss due to foreign currency translation differences (1,175)(350)
Gain on debt instruments at fair value through other comprehensive 0
Tax on above Share of OCI of associate and joint venture accounted for using equity method 2 (0)(3) –
  (1,173)(353)
Items not to be reclassified subsequently to profit or loss:   
Re-measurement gain/(loss) on defined benefit plans 0(0)
Tax on above (0)0
  (0)0
    
Other comprehensive loss for the year (1,173)(353)
    
Total comprehensive (loss)/income for the year (1,262)397
  (Loss)/profit for the year attributable to:   (89)  750
Owners of the company (165)663
Non-controlling interests 7687
Other comprehensive loss for the year attributable to: (1,173)(353)
Owners of the company (1,141)(341)
Non-controlling interests (32)(12)
Total comprehensive (loss)/income for the year attributable to: (1,262)397
Owners of the company (1,306)322
Non-controlling interests 4475
(Loss)/earnings per share   
Basic8(4.4 cents)17.7 cents
Diluted8(4.4 cents)17.7 cents

Consolidated Statement of Financial Position

(All amounts are in US$ millions unless stated otherwise)

                                  As of                             
 Notes31 March 202431 March 2023
Assets   
Non-current assets   
Property, plant and equipment91,8272,295
Capital work-in-progress9232212
Right of use assets 1,4831,497
Goodwill10 & 112,5693,516
Other intangible assets 725813
Intangible assets under development 4399
Investments accounted for using equity method 54
Financial assets   
– Investments 00
– Derivative instruments 09
– Others 3034
Income tax assets (net) 51
Deferred tax assets (net) 543337
Other non-current assets 146151
  7,5699,268
Current assets   
Inventories 2615
Financial assets   
– Investments 2
– Derivative instruments 104
– Trade receivables 184145
– Cash and cash equivalents12620586
– Other bank balances12353131
– Balance held under mobile money trust 737616
– Others 106142
Other current assets 254259
  2,2921,898
Total assets 9,86111,166
 NotesAs of 
  31 March 202431 March 2023
  Current liabilities   
Financial liabilities   
– Borrowings141,426945
– Lease liabilities 357395
– Derivative instruments 1445
– Trade payables 422460
– Mobile money wallet balance 722582
– Others 440533
Provisions 7883
Deferred revenue 123183
Current tax liabilities (net) 119194
Other current liabilities 215192
  4,0463,572
Net current liabilities (1,754)(1,674)
Non-current liabilities   
Financial liabilities   
– Borrowings149471,233
– Lease liabilities 1,7321,652
– Put option liability 552569
– Derivative instruments 3343
– Others 146147
Provisions 2221
Deferred tax liabilities (net) 67108
Other non-current liabilities 1613
  3,5153,786
Total liabilities 7,5617,358
    
Net Assets 2,3003,808
  Equity   
Share capital131,8753,420
Reserves and surplus 285215
Equity attributable to owners of the company 2,1603,635
Non-controlling interests (‘NCI’) 140173
Total equity 2,3003,808

The accompanying notes form an integral part of these interim condensed consolidated financial statements.

For and on behalf of the Board of Airtel Africa plc

Olusegun Ogunsanya Chief Executive Officer 08 May 2024

Consolidated Statement of Changes in Equity

Equity attributable to owners of the company       Non- controlling interests (NCI)         Total equity Share Capital Reserves and Surplus   Equity attributable to owners of the company   No. of shares (1)   Amount Retained earnings Transactions with NCI reserve Other components of equity   Total 6,839,896,081 3,420 3,436 (942) (2,412) 82 3,502 147 3,649 – – 663 – – 663 663 87 750 – – (0) – (341) (341) (341) (12) (353) 663 (341) 322 322 75 397 – – (2) – – (2) (2) – (2) – – – – (5) (5) (5) – (5) – – – 13 – 13 13 3 16 – – (195) – – (195) (195) – (195) – – – – – – – (52) (52) 6,839,896,081 3,420 3,902 (929) (2,758) 215 3,635 173 3,808 – – (165) – – (165) (165) 76 (89) – – 0 – (1,141) (1,141) (1,141) (32) (1,173) (165) (1,141) (1,306) (1,306) 44 (1,262) – – (1) – 2 1 1 – 1 – – – – 1 1 1 – 1 (3,081,744,577) (1,541) 1,541 – – 1,541 – – – (7,389,855) (4) (9) – (37) (46) (50) – (50) – – – 91 – 91 91 (12) 79 – – (212) – – (212) (212) – (212) – – – – – – – (65) (65) 3,750,761,649 1,875 5,056 (838) (3,933) 285 2,160 140 2,300    

(All amounts are in US$ millions unless stated otherwise)

As of 1 April 2022

Profit for the year

Other comprehensive income/(loss) Total comprehensive income/(loss) Transaction with owners of equity Employee share-based payment reserve Purchase of own shares (net) Transactions with NCI

Dividend to owners of the company Dividend (including tax) to NCI (2)

As of 31 March 2023

(Loss)/Profit for the year

Other comprehensive income/(loss) (refer note 4(b) and 4(c))

Total comprehensive income/(loss) Transaction with owners of equity Employee share-based payment reserve Purchase of own shares (net)

Cancellation of deferred shares (refer note 4(d)) Ordinary shares buy back programme (refer note 4(f)) Transactions with NCI (3)

Dividend to owners of the company (refer note 4(a)) Dividend (including tax) to NCI(2)

As of 31 March 2024

  • Includes ordinary & deferred shares till 31 March 2023. Deferred shares have been cancelled during the year ended 31 March 2024 as explained in note 4(d), therefore as on 31 March 2024, it includes only ordinary shares. Refer to note 13 for further details.
  • Dividend to non-controlling interests include tax of $4m (31 March 2023: $3m).
  • This primarily relates to:
    • Excess of consideration over proportionate net assets, on sale of 10.89% shares of Airtel Uganda to minority shareholders under IPO of Airtel Uganda amounting to $49m, as explained in note 4(e).
    • Reversal of put option liability by $24m (31 March 2023: $16m) for dividend distribution to put options non-controlling interest holders (any dividend paid to the put option non-controlling interest holders is adjustable against the put option liability based on the put option arrangement).
    • Adjustment of $18m to non-controlling interests pertaining to Airtel Mobile Commerce B.V. on account completion of restructuring period and consequent release of escrow shares as per agreement with non-controlling interest holders

27

Consolidated Statement of Statement Flows (All amounts are in US$ millions unless stated otherwise)  
          For the year ended           
 31 March 2024                    31 March 2023
Cash flows from operating activities 
Profit before tax(63)1,034
Adjustments for –  
Depreciation and amortization788818
Finance income(38)(29)
Finance costs  
– Derivative and foreign exchange losses  
Nigerian naira1,070224
Other currencies189114
– Other finance costs482414
Share of profit of associate and joint venture accounted for using equity method(0)(0)
Other non-cash adjustments(1)02
Operating cash flow before changes in working capital2,4282,577
Changes in working capital  
Increase in trade receivables(79)(45)
Increase in inventories(16)(13)
Increase in trade payables569
Increase in mobile money wallet balance207120
Increase/(decrease) in provisions3(32)
Increase in deferred revenue2137
Increase in other financial and non-financial liabilities76113
Increase in other financial and non-financial assets(93)(140)
Net cash generated from operations before tax2,6032,626
Income taxes paid(344)(397)
Net cash generated from operating activities (a)2,2592,229
  Cash flows from investing activities  
Purchase of property, plant and equipment and capital work-in-progress(868)(779)
Purchase of intangible assets and intangible assets under development(161)(502)
Purchase of other short term investments(2)
Maturity of deposits with bank731350
Investment in deposits with bank(961)(126)
Investment in joint venture(0)
Dividend received from associate2
Interest received3329
Net cash used in investing activities (b)(1,228)(1,026)
  Cash flows from financing activities  
Purchase of shares under buy-back programme(9)
Purchase of own shares by ESOP trust(2)(8)
Proceeds from sale of shares to NCI53
Proceeds from borrowings713906
Repayment of borrowings(550)(1,018)
Repayment of lease liabilities(324)(279)
Dividend paid to non-controlling interests(59)(75)
Dividend paid to owners of the company(212)(195)
Payment of deferred spectrum liability(21)(21)
Interest on borrowings, lease liabilities and other liabilities(440)(400)
Inflow/(outflow) on maturity of derivatives (net)7(49)
Net cash used in financing activities (c)(844)(1,139)
  Increase in cash and cash equivalents during the year (a+b+c)  187  64
Currency translation differences relating to cash and cash equivalents(128)(70)
Cash and cash equivalent as at beginning of the year841847
Cash and cash equivalents as at end of the year (refer to Note 12) (2)900841

(1) For the year ended 31 March 2024 and 31 March 2023, this mainly includes movements in impairment of trade receivable and other provisions.

(2) Includes balances held under mobile money trust of $737m (March 2023: $616m) 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$ millions unless stated otherwise)

1.    Corporate information

Airtel Africa plc (‘the company’) is a public company limited by shares incorporated and domiciled in the United Kingdom (UK) 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 is listed both on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and Nigerian Stock Exchange (NGX). 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, its associate and its joint venture primarily consist of the provision of telecommunications and mobile money services.

2.    Basis of preparation

The results for the year ended 31 March 2024 are an abridged statement of the full annual report which was approved by the Board of Directors and signed on its behalf on 08 May 2024. 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 2024 and 2023, but is derived from those accounts. Statutory accounts for March 2023 have been delivered to the Registrar of Companies and those for 2024 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 2024.

All the amounts included in the financial statements are reported in United States dollars, with all values rounded to the nearest millions ($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. During the year, the Group has changed the classification of distribution costs relating to its mobile money business to better reflect the nature of these costs, reclassifying costs previously included in other operating expenses to the sales and marketing expenses in the consolidated statement of comprehensive income.

3.    Going concern

These consolidated financial statements have been prepared on a going concern basis. In making this going concern as- sessment, the Group has considered cash flow projections (including scheduled bond repayment of $550m in May 2024 and repayment of other loans due for repayment in the going concern period) to June 2025 (going concern assessment period) under both a base case and reasonable worst-case scenarios including a reverse stress test. This assessment takes into consideration its principal risks and uncertainties including a reduction in revenue and EBITDA and a 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 $351m expiring beyond the going concern assessment period, which will fulfil the Group’s cash flow requirement under both the base and reasonable worst-case scenarios.

Having considered all the above-mentioned factors impacting the Group’s businesses, the impact of downside sensitivities, and the mitigating actions available to the group 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 financial statements.

4.    Significant transactions/new developments

  1. On 10 May 2023, the directors recommended, and shareholders approved on 04 July 2023, a final dividend of 3.27 cents per ordinary share for the year ended 31 March 2023, which was paid on 26 July 2023 to the holders of ordinary shares on the register of members at the close of business on 23 June 2023.

An interim dividend of 2.38 cents per share was also approved by the Board on 29 October 2023, which has been paid on 15 December 2023.

  • In June 2023, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced changes to the operations in the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market, including the abolishment of segmentation, with all segments now collapsing into the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window and the reintroduction of the ‘Willing Buyer, Willing Seller’ model at the I&E window.

As a result of this CBN decision, the Nigerian naira devalued against the US dollar by approximately 62% (USD appreciation of 38%) in the month of June 2023 where the exchange rate moved to 752 naira per USD as against the opening rate of 465 naira per USD.

The after-effects of the CBN announcement continued to impact the exchange rate materially during January 2024 when the Nigerian naira to the US dollar moved to 1,414 per USD which was also above the threshold percentage as per Group’s exceptional item policy. Over February and March 2024, the Nigeria naira to US dollar moved back to close at 1,303 per USD which was in effect a part reversal of the losses seen in January 2024.

This resulted in a material impact on the Group’s financial results arising from the translation of monetary items at closing exchange rates leading to material derivative and foreign exchange losses. During the year, the devaluation of Nigerian naira has resulted in derivative and foreign exchange losses of $1,070m.

In line with the Group’s policy on exceptional items and alternative performance measures as described in ‘Note on exceptional items’ on page 55, the impact of the devaluation pertaining to the months of June 2023 and January to March 2024 meet the criteria to be presented as exceptional as per the Group’s exceptional item policy and is of such size, nature and incidence that their exclusion is considered necessary to explain the underlying performance of the Group and to improve the comparability between periods. Therefore, the Group has presented as an exceptional items:

  • the derivative and foreign exchange losses pertaining to the months of June 2023 and January to March 2024, amounting to $770m, and
    • the corresponding tax impact of $250m.

Since the devaluation in other months did not meet the threshold criteria as per the Group’s policy on exceptional items,

the Group has not presented the impact pertaining to these months as exceptional.

Additionally, on account of the translation from naira to US dollar (presentation currency of the Group) of all the assets and liabilities (including Goodwill) pertaining to the Group’s Nigerian subsidiaries using the closing exchange rate at 31 March 2024 and income and expenses at the average exchange rates for the year ended 31 March 2024, the Group incurred a foreign exchange translation loss recorded in other comprehensive income amounting to $944m for the year ended 31 March 2024.

  • In November 2023, the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) announced structural changes to the foreign exchange market with its decision to adjust the exchange rate from selling rate of MWK 1,180 to a selling rate of MWK 1,700 to the US dollar with effect from 9 November 2023. As part of the structural changes, the RBM started authorizing dealer banks to freely negotiate exchange rates to trade with their clients and amongst themselves, notwithstanding any limitations previously in place. This change announced by the RBM is a structural and material change (i.e. more than threshold percentage devaluation in a month) and in line with the Group’s policy on exceptional items and alternative performance measures as described in ‘Note on exceptional items’ on page 55, the impact of this change is of such size, nature and incidence that its exclusion is considered necessary to explain the underlying performance of the Group and improve the comparability between periods. Consequently, the Group has presented the impact arising in November 2023 amounting to $37m and the corresponding tax benefit $8m as an exceptional item.

Additionally, on account of translation from MWK to US dollar (presentation currency of the Group) of all the assets and liabilities (including Goodwill) pertaining to the Group’s subsidiaries in Malawi using the closing exchange rate at 31 March 2024 and income and expenses at the average exchange rates for the year ended 31 March 2024, the Group incurred a foreign exchange translation loss recorded in other comprehensive income amounting to $169m for the year ended 31

March 2024.

  • During the year ended 31 March 2024, the company completed the cancellation and extinction of all of its deferred shares (3,081,744,577 shares) of USD $0.50 nominal value each (the “Capital Reduction”), which was approved by shareholders at the annual general meeting of the company held on 4 July 2023, and was sanctioned by the High Court of England and Wales (the “High Court”) on 15 August 2023 and became effective on 18 August 2023 on its certification by the Companies House. The effect of the Capital Reduction is to create additional distributable reserves of $1,541m which will be available to the company going forward and may be used to facilitate returns to shareholders in the future, whether in the form of dividends, distributions, or purchases of the company’s own shares. Accordingly, and in line with the High Court approval, the carrying value of the deferred shares ($1,541m) has been transferred to retained earnings.
    • On 29 August 2023, Airtel Uganda Limited issued a prospectus in relation to the offer for sale of 8,000,000,000 ordinary shares, representing 20% of Airtel Uganda Limited on the Uganda Stock Exchange (USE) in-line with the 20% minimum public listing obligation for all National Telecom Operators under the current Uganda Communications (Fees & Fines) (Amendment) Regulations 2020.

In November 2023, Airtel Uganda Limited completed an initial public offering (IPO) and listed on the Main Investment Market Segment of the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) with a total of 4.4 billion shares (10.89% of Airtel Uganda Limited’s total share capital) transferred to minority shareholders. Airtel Uganda received a 3-year waiver from the Uganda Securities Exchange from the requirement to transfer the remaining 9.11% required to meet the 20% shareholding listing requirement.

This being a transaction with non-controlling shareholders, the impact of $49m (excess of consideration over proportionate net assets net of related transaction costs) has been taken into ‘Transaction with NCI reserve’ in the consolidated statement of changes in equity.

  • On 01 March 2024, the Company announced the commencement of its share buy-back programme. As part of the programme it entered into an agreement with Citigroup Global Markets Limited (“Citi”) to conduct the first tranche of the buy-back amounting to a maximum of $50m and carry out on-market purchases of its ordinary shares with the Company subsequently purchasing its ordinary shares from Citi. For the year ended 31 March 2024, the Company bought-back and cancelled 7,389,855 shares, resulting in 3,750,761,649 ordinary shares outstanding as at 31 March 2024. The purchase price of the shares bought-back was $9m and the Company carries a liability of $41m as part of ‘other financial liabilities’ relating to the remaining buy-back agreement with Citi. The nominal value ($0.5 per share) of the cancelled shares, amounting to

$4m, has been transferred to the capital redemption reserve.

5.    Segmental information

The Group’s segment information is provided on the basis of geographical clusters and products to the Group’s chief executive officer (chief operating decision maker – ‘CODM’) for the purposes of resource allocation and assessment of performance.

The Group’s operating segments are as follows:

Nigeria Mobile Services – Comprising of mobile service operations in Nigeria;

East Africa Mobile Services – Comprising of mobile service operations in Uganda, Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi and Rwanda;

Francophone Africa Mobile Services – Comprising of mobile service operations in DRC, Gabon, Chad, Niger, Congo B, Madagascar and Seychelles;

Mobile money services*– Comprising of mobile money services across the Group.

* Mobile money services segment consolidates the results of mobile money operations from all operating entities within the Group. Airtel Money Commerce B.V. (AMC BV) is the holding company for all mobile money services for the Group, and as of 31 March 2024, it controls all mobile money operations excluding operations in Nigeria. It is management’s intention to continue work to transfer the Nigerian mobile money services operations into AMC BV, subject to local regulatory approvals.

Each segment derives revenue from the respective services housed within each segment, as described above. Expenses, assets and liabilities primarily related to the corporate headquarters and centralised functions 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 (defined as operating profit/(loss) for the period before depreciation, amortisation and exceptional items). This is the measure reported to the CODM for the purpose of resource allocation and assessment of segment performance. During the year ended 31 March 2024 and 31 March 2023, the definition of EBITDA is equal to underlying EBITDA since there are no exceptional items pertaining to EBITDA and therefore EBITDA is presented in the segment information below.

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 changes occur.

The ‘Eliminations’ column comprises inter-segment revenues eliminated upon consolidation.

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 impacts are reflected in the ‘Eliminations’ column.

Summary of the segmental information and disaggregation of revenue for the year ended and as of 31 March 2024 is as follows:

 Nigeria mobile servicesEast Africa mobile         services                                                                                                           Francophone Africa mobile servicesMobile moneyOthers (unallocated)  Eliminations  Total
Revenue from external customers 
Voice revenue7108506192,179
Data revenue6546214591,734
Mobile money revenue (1)649649
Other revenue (2)13613812914417
Total revenue from external customers1,5001,6091,207649144,979
Inter-segment revenue31361888(218)
Total revenue1,5031,6221,21383722(218)4,979
EBITDA811788512436(119)2,428
Less:       
Depreciation and amortisation2642872091810788
Finance costs       
– Derivative and foreign exchange losses       
Nigerian naira      1,070
Other currencies      189
– Other finance costs      482
Finance income      (38)
Share of profit of associate and joint venture accounted for using equity method      (0)
Loss before tax      (63)
Other segment items       
Capital expenditure2522841572717737
  As of 31 March 2024       
Segment assets1,6752,3361,6471,15120,774(17,722)9,861
Segment liabilities1,8902,5692,3469299,338(9,511)7,561
Investment in associate and joint venture accounted for using equity method (included in segment assets above)55

(1) Mobile money revenue is net of inter-segment elimination of $188m mainly for commission on sale of airtime. It includes $126m pertaining to East Africa mobile services and the balance $62m pertaining to Francophone Africa mobile service.

(2) Other revenue 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 31 March 2023 is as follows:

 Nigeria mobile servicesEast Africa mobile servicesFrancophone Africa mobile servicesMobile moneyOthers (unallocated)  Eliminations  Total
Revenue from external customers       
Voice revenue1,0528356042,491
Data revenue8845373661,787
Mobile money revenue (1)540540
Other revenue (2)18912411410437
Total revenue from external customers2,1251,4961,084540105,255
Inter-segment revenue31261524(177)
Total revenue2,1281,5081,09069214(177)5,255
EBITDA1,101755480344(105)2,575
Less:       
Depreciation and amortisation344260190177818
Finance costs       
– Derivative and foreign exchange losses       
Nigerian naira      224
Other currencies      114
– Other finance costs      414
Finance income      (29)
Share of profit of associate and joint venture accounted for using equity method      (0)
Profit before tax      1,034
Other segment items       
Capital expenditure2932561513315748
  As of 31 March 2023       
Segment assets2,6342,2551,59994525,485(21,752)11,166
Segment liabilities2,1932,3932,35974212,839(13,168)7,358
Investment in associate and joint venture accounted for using equity method (included in segment assets above) 44

(1) Mobile money revenue is net of inter-segment elimination of $152m mainly for commission on sale of airtime. It includes $103m pertaining to East Africa mobile services and balance $49m pertaining to Francophone Africa mobile services.

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

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

 As of 
 31 March 202431 March 2023
United Kingdom00
Nigeria1,3202,379
Netherlands (including Goodwill)2,5173,464
Others(1)3,0032,889
Total6,8408,732

(1)  majorly includes other African countries where the Group operates.

6.    Exceptional items

Underlying profit before tax excludes the following exceptional items

                  For the year ended       
 31 March 202431 March 2023
Profit before tax(63)1,034
Add: Exceptional items  
Finance costs  
– Derivative and foreign exchange losses 
Nigerian naira (refer to note 4(b))770 
Malawian kwacha (refer to note 4(c))                          37               
 807
Underlying profit before tax7441,034

Underlying profit after tax excludes the following exceptional items:

                   For the year ended        
 31 March 202431 March 2023
(Loss)/Profit after tax(89)750
-Exceptional items (as above)807
– Tax on above exceptional items  
Nigerian naira (refer to note 4(b))(250)
Malawian kwacha (refer to note 4(c))(8)
– Deferred tax asset recognition(1)(161)
 549(161)
Underlying profit after tax460589

(1) During the year ended 31 March 2023, the Group had recognised deferred tax assets in Airtel Kenya. Airtel Kenya had carried forward losses and temporary differences on which deferred tax was not previously recognised. Considering Airtel Kenya’s profitability trends, that tax losses were utilised and on the basis of forecast future taxable profits, the Group had determined that it was probable that taxable profits would be available against which the tax losses and temporary differences could be utilised. Consequently, the deferred tax asset recognition criteria were met, leading to the recognition of an additional deferred tax asset of $117m during the year ended 31 March 2023. Additionally, the Group had also recognised deferred tax assets on initial temporary differences for an extended period in Airtel Tanzania and Airtel DRC amounting to $19m and $25m, respectively based on updated probability of future taxable profits in these subsidiaries.

Profit attributable to non-controlling interests amounting to $76m (31 March 2023: $87m) includes a loss of $4m (31 March 2023: gain of $10m) during the year ended 31 March 2024, relating to the above exceptional items.

7.    Income tax

                   For the year ended         
           31 March 2024          31 March 2023
Current tax332408
Deferred tax(306)(124)
Income tax expense26284
  • Earnings per share (‘EPS’)

The details used in the computation of basic EPS:

 For the year ended 
 31 March 202431 March 2023
  (Loss)/profit for the year attributable to owners of the company  (165)  663
Weighted average ordinary shares outstanding for basic EPS(1)3,750,641,2073,751,665,898
Basic (Loss)/earnings per share(4.4 cents)17.7 cents
      The details used in the computation of diluted EPS:      For the year ended 
 31 March 202431 March 2023
  (Loss)/profit for the year attributable to owners of the company  (165)  663
Weighted average ordinary shares outstanding for diluted EPS(1)(2)3,750,641,2073,756,867,853
Diluted (Loss)/earnings per share(4.4 cents)17.7 cents
  The difference between the basic and diluted number of shares at the end of March 2023 being 5,201,955 shares relates to awards committed but not yet issued under the Group’s share-based payment schemes. The 6,017,906 shares granted under different share-based plans are not included in the calculation of diluted earnings per share for the year ended 31 March 2024 as these are anti-dilutive on account of losses during the period. These options could potentially di- lute basic earning per share in future.

9.    Property, plant and equipment (‘PPE’)

The following table presents the reconciliation of changes in the carrying value of PPE for the year ended 31 March 2024 and 31 March 2023::

 Leasehold ImprovementsBuildingLandPlant and Equipment (2)Furniture & FixtureVehiclesOffice EquipmentComputerTotalCapital work in progress (3)
Gross carrying value          
Balance as of 1 April 20224947263,0456222557034,009189
Additions / capitalization306141701551700735
Disposals / adjustments (1)(0)(20)(3)(0)(3)(5)(31)(700)
Foreign currency translation impact(3)(4)(1)(390)(6)(0)(6)(53)(463)(12)
Balance as of 31 March 20234943253,2497022616964,215212
Additions / capitalization11556101545628722
Disposals / adjustments (1)(1)(29)(5)(4)(39)(628)
Foreign currency translation impact(6)(9)(2)(1,394)(14)(1)(19)(144)(1,589)(74)
Balance as of 31 March 20244433242,3826121575933,215232
Accumulated Depreciation          
Balance as of 1 April 2022442001,0032320326531,795
Charge123741301332435
Disposals / adjustments (1)(0)(18)(3)(0)(1)(5)(27)
Foreign currency translation impact(3)(3)(0)(222)(3)(0)(5)(47)(283)
Balance as of 31 March 202342191,1373020396331,920
Charge223411201534406
Disposals / adjustments (1)(0)(0)(35)(5)131(35)
Foreign currency translation impact(6)(5)(739)(9)(1)(14)(129)(903)
Balance as of 31 March 202438167042920435391,388
Net carrying value          
As of 1 April 2022527262,04239223502,214189
As of 31 March 2023724252,11240222632,295212
As of 31 March 2024617241,67931115541,827232
  • Related to the reversal of gross carrying value and accumulated depreciation on retirement/ disposal of PPE and reclassification from one category of asset to another.
  • Includes PPE secured against the Group’s borrowings outstanding of $139m and $44m as of 31 March 2024 and 31 March 2023 respectively.
  • The carrying value of capital work-in-progress as of 31 March 2024 and 31 March 2023 mainly pertains to plant and equipment.

10. Goodwill

The following table presents the reconciliation of changes in the carrying value of goodwill for the year ended 31 March 2024 and 31 March 2023

 Goodwill
Balance as of 1 April 20223,827
Foreign currency translation impact(311)
Balance as of 31 March 20233,516
Balance as of 1 April 20233,516
Foreign currency translation impact(947)
Balance as of 31 March 20242,569

11. Impairment review

The carrying amount of goodwill is attributed to the following groups of CGUs, which are also the Group’s operating segments:

                                As of                            
 31 March 202431 March 2023
Nigeria Mobile Services318900
East Africa Mobile Services834927
Francophone Africa Mobile Services500503
Mobile Money Services9171,186
 2,569(1)3,516

(1)The decrease in carrying amount of goodwill by $947m is due to foreign currency translation differences. Refer to note 4(b) and 4(c).

The Group tests goodwill for impairment annually on 31 December. The carrying value of goodwill as of 31 December 2023 was

$436m, $833m, $503m and $967m for Nigeria mobile services, East Africa mobile services and Francophone Africa mobile services and Mobile money services, respectively. The recoverable amounts of the above group of CGUs are based on value-in-use, which are determined based on ten-year business plans that have been approved by the Board.

Whilst the Board performed a long-term viability assessment over a three-year period, for the purposes of assessing liquidity, the Group has adopted a ten-year plan for the purpose of impairment testing due to the following reasons:

  • The Group operates in emerging markets where the telecommunications and mobile money markets are underpenetrated when compared to developed markets. In these emerging markets, short-term plans (for example, five years) are not indicative of the long-term future prospects and performance of the Group.
  • The life of the Group’s regulatory telecom licences and network assets are at an average of ten years, the spectrum renewals happen for a period of ten years or more and in general the replacement of technology happens after a similar duration, and
  • The potential opportunities of the emerging African telecom sector, which is mostly a two-three player market with lower smartphone penetration.

Accordingly, the Board approved that this planning horizon reflects the assumptions for medium- to long-term market developments, appropriately covers market dynamics of emerging markets and better reflects the expected performance in the markets in which the Group operates.

While using the ten-year plan, the Group also considers external market data to support the assumptions used in such plans, which is generally available only for the first five years. Considering the degree of availability of external market data beyond year five, the Group has performed sensitivity analysis to assess the impact on impairment of using a five-year plan. The results of this sensitivity analysis demonstrate that the initial five-year plan with appropriate changes, including long-term growth rates applied at the end of this period does not result in any impairment and does not decrease the recoverable value by more than 10% in any of the group of CGUs as compared to the recoverable value using the ten-year plan. Further, the Group is confident that projections for years six to ten are reliable and can demonstrate its ability, based on past experience, to forecast cash flows accurately over a longer period.

Accordingly, the Board has approved and the Group continues to follow a consistent policy of using an initial forecast period of ten years for the purpose of impairment testing.

The nominal cash flows used in the impairment tests reflect the Group’s current assessment of the impact of climate change and associated commitments the Group has made. Based on the analysis conducted so far, the Group is satisfied that the impact of climate change does not lead to an impairment as of 31 December 2023 and is adequately covered as part of the sensitivities disclosed below.

The nominal cash flows beyond the planning period are extrapolated using appropriate long-term terminal growth rates. The long- term terminal growth rates used do not exceed the long-term average growth rates of the respective industry and country in which the entity operates and are consistent with internal/external sources of information.

The inputs used in performing the impairment assessment at 31 December 2023 were as follows:

AssumptionsNigeria Mobile ServicesEast Africa Mobile ServicesFrancophone Africa Mobile ServicesMobile Money Services
Pre-tax Discount Rate33.55%21.76%22.18%23.59%
Capital expenditure range (as a percentage of revenue)5% – 18%12% – 28%10% -15%2%-5%
Long term growth rate11.00%7.74%6.81%7.79%

As of 31 December 2023, the impairment testing did not result in any impairment in the carrying amount of goodwill in any group of CGUs.

The key assumptions in performing the impairment assessment were as follows:

AssumptionsBasis of assumptions
  Discount rateNominal discount rate reflects the market assessment of the risks specific to the group of CGUs and are estimated based on the weighted average cost of capital for respective CGUs.
  Capital expenditureThe cash flow forecasts of capital and spectrum licences expenditure are based on experience after considering the expenditure required to meet coverage, licence and capacity requirements relating to voice, data and mobile money services.
  Long-term growth ratesThe growth rates into perpetuity used are in line with the nominal long-term average growth rates of the respective industry and country in which the entity operates and are consistent with the internal / external sources of information.

As of 31 December 2023, impairment testing did not result in any impairment in the carrying amount of goodwill in any group of CGUs. The results of the impairment tests using these rates show that the recoverable amount exceeds the carrying amount by

$1,263m for Nigeria mobile services (76%), $2,211m for East Africa mobile services (92%), $994m for Francophone Africa mobile services (64%) and $3,410m for Mobile money (328%), respectively. The Group, therefore, concluded that no impairment was required to the goodwill held against each group of CGUs. Subsequent to December 2023, the Group has also performed indicator testing for impairment of goodwill and has concluded that there are no indicators of impairment (including on account of devaluation of Nigeria naira).

Sensitivity in discount rate and capital expenditure

Management believes that no reasonably possible change in any of the key assumptions would cause the difference between the carrying value and recoverable amount for any cash-generating unit to be materially different from the recoverable value in the base case. The table below sets out the breakeven pre-tax discount rate for each group of CGUs, which will result in the recoverable amount being equal with the carrying amount for each group of CGUs:

 Nigeria Mobile ServicesEast Africa Mobile ServicesFrancophone Africa Mobile ServicesMobile Money Services
Pre-tax Discount Rate47.47%32.37%31.73%67.24%

The table below presents the increase in isolation in absolute capital expenditure as a percentage of revenue (across all years of the impairment review) which will result in equating the recoverable amount with the carrying amount for each group of CGUs:

AssumptionsNigeria Mobile ServicesEast Africa Mobile ServicesFrancophone Africa Mobile ServicesMobile Money Services
Capital expenditure range (as a percentage of revenue)7.12%8.33%6.07%22.34%

No reasonably possible change in the terminal growth rate would cause the carrying amount to exceed the recoverable amount.

12. Cash and bank balances (‘C&CE’)

Cash and cash equivalentsAs of 
 31 March 202431 March 2023
Balances with banks  
– On current accounts192248
– Bank deposits with original maturity of three months or less311272
Balance held in wallets11164
Remittance in transit51
Cash on hand11
 620586

Other bank balances

                                   As of                              
 31 March 202431 March 2023
-Term deposits with banks with original maturity of344117
more than three months but less than 12 months  
-Margin money deposits (1)914
-Unpaid dividend00
 353131

(1) Margin money deposits represent amount given as collateral for legal cases and/or bank guarantees for disputed matters.

For the purpose of the statement of cash flows, cash and cash equivalents are as follows:

 As of 
 31 March 202431 March 2023
Cash and cash equivalents as per statement of financial position620586
Balance held under mobile money trust737616
Bank overdraft(457)(361)
 900841

13. Share capital

                             As of                          
       31 March 2024          31 March 2023           
Issued, subscribed and fully paid-up shares  
3,750,761,649 ordinary shares of $0.50 each (March 2023: 3,758,151,504) Refer to note 4(f)1,8751,879
Nil deferred shares of $0.50 each (March 2023: 3,081,744,577) Refer to note 4(d)–                                                                   1,541
                        1,875                         3,420

Terms/rights attached to equity shares

The company has followings two classes of ordinary shares:

  • Ordinary shares having par value of $0.50 per share. Each holder of equity shares is entitled to cast one vote per share and carry a right to dividends.
  • Deferred shares of $0.50 each. These shares have been cancelled and extinguished during the year ended 31 March 2024. For details, please refer to note 4(d).

14. Borrowings

Non-current

                                  As of                             
 31 March 202431 March 2023
Secured  
Term loans(1)12435
 12435
Unsecured  
Term loans(1)823644
Non- convertible bonds (1) (2)554
 8231,198
 9471,233

Current

                                  As of                              
 31 March 202431 March 2023
Secured  
Term loans(1)159
 159
Unsecured  
Non- convertible bonds(1)(2)550
Term loans(1)404575
Bank overdraft457361
 1,411936
 1,426945

(1) Includes debt origination costs.

(2) It includes impact of fair value hedges.

15. Contingent liabilities and commitments

(i) Contingent liabilities

                                  As of                              
 31 March 202431 March 2023
   
(a) Taxes, duties and other demands (under adjudication / appeal / dispute)  
-Income tax1316
-Value added tax2020
-Customs duty & Excise duty99
-Other miscellaneous demands75
(b) Claims under legal and regulatory cases including arbitration matters7682
 125132

There are uncertainties in the legal, regulatory and tax environments in the countries in which the Group operates and there is a risk of demands, which may be raised based on current or past business operations. Such demands have in the past been challenged and contested on merits with the relevant authorities and appropriate settlements agreed.

The reduction of $7m in contingent liabilities during the year ended 31 March 2024 is primarily due to currency devaluation in subsidiaries.

The company and its subsidiaries are currently and may become, from time to time, involved in a number of legal proceed- ings, including inquiries from, or discussions with, governmental authorities that are incidental to their operations. As of 31 March 2024, the Group’s key contingent liabilities include the following:

Claims under legal and regulatory cases including arbitration matter

One of the subsidiaries of the Group is involved in a dispute with one of its vendors, with respect to invoices for services provided to a subsidiary under a service contract. The original order under the contract was issued by the subsidiary for a total amount of Central African franc (CFA) 473,800,000 (approximately $1m). In 2014, the vendor-initiated arbitration proceedings claiming a sum of approximately CFA 1.9 billion (approximately $3m) based on the court award. Multiple court proceeding have happened from 2015 onwards and in mid-May 2019, the lower courts imposed a penalty of CFA 35 billion (approximately $58m), based on which certain banks of the subsidiary were summoned to release the funds. The subsidiary immediately lodged an appeal in the Supreme Court for a stay of execution which was granted. Subsequently, the vendor filed an appeal before the Common Court of Justice and Arbitration (CCJA). Quite unexpectedly, in April 2020, the CCJA lifted the Supreme Court stay of execution. In May 2021, the Commercial Division of the High Court maintained new seizures carried out by the vendor. The subsidiary appealed and the Court of Appeal determination on the seizures is pending as of April 2022. In March 2022 the CCJA interpreted its judgment of March 2019 to indicate that the daily penalty could not be maintained after its ruling dated 18 November 2018.

Separately, in December 2020 the subsidiary initiated criminal proceedings against the vendor for fraud and deceitful conduct. In February 2021, the investigating judge issued an order to cease the investigation which was appealed by the Subsidiary. In March 2022, the Court Appeal quashed the investigative judge order and allowed the investigation into the vendor to resume. Testimony in the criminal investigation case happened on 26 April 2022 in front of the criminal court of appeal where the honorable judge has further re-examined the facts from the representatives of the subsidiary against this case. A stay of execution was issued on 30 May 2022 by the Chamber of Accusation in favour of subsidiary till the time criminal investigation is completed. In October 2023, the criminal court ordered the dismissal of the case despite evidence of initial payment provided to the judge. The subsidiary has appealed to the Supreme Court, and a decision is awaited.

As per the law no civil action can be initiated against the subsidiary while criminal proceedings are ongoing.

On 30 November 2022 subsidiary was notified that plaintiff has appealed in the court of cassation against the stay of execution dated 30 May 2022. Subsidiary has filed its response on 26 January 2023. On 8 May 2023, the subsidiary filed an application in the Commercial court to seek a cease-and-desist order against the vendor. The matter is pending before the Commercial court, and the substantial appeal has been transferred to CCJA in February 2024.

The Group still awaits the ruling on the merits of the case, and the outcome of the criminal investigations, and until that time has disclosed this matter as Contingent Liability for $58m (included in the closing contingent liability). No provision has been made against this claim.

In addition to the individual matters disclosed above, in the ordinary course of business, the Group is a defendant or co- defendant in various litigations and claims which are immaterial individually.

Guarantees:

Guarantees outstanding as of 31 March 2024 and 31 March 2023 amounting to $12m and $9m respectively have been issued by banks and financial institutions on behalf of the Group. These guarantees include certain financial bank guarantees which have been given for sub-judice matters and the amounts with respect to these have been disclosed under capital commitments, contingencies and liabilities, as applicable, in compliance with the applicable accounting standards.

Commitments

Capital Commitments

The Group has contractual commitments towards capital expenditure (net of related advances paid) of $317m and $313m as of 31 March 2024 and 31 March 2023 respectively.

16. Related Party disclosure

  1. List of related parties
  2. Parent company

Airtel Africa Mauritius Limited

  1. Intermediate parent entities

Network i2i Limited Bharti Airtel Limited Bharti Telecom Limited

  1. Ultimate controlling entity

Bharti Enterprises (Holding) Private Limited. It is held by private trusts of Bharti family, with Mr. Sunil Bharti Mittal’s

family trust effectively controlling the company.

  1. Associate:

Seychelles Cable Systems Company Limited

  • Joint Venture

Mawezi RDC S.A.

  • Other entities with whom transactions have taken place during the reporting period
    • Fellow subsidiaries

Nxtra Data Limited

Bharti Airtel Services Limited

Bharti International (Singapore) Pte Ltd Bharti Airtel (UK) Limited

Bharti Airtel (France) SAS

Bharti Airtel Lanka (Private) Limited Bharti Hexacom Limited

  • Other related parties

Singapore Telecommunication Limited

  • Key Management Personnel (‘KMP’)
    • Executive directors Olusegun Ogunsanya Jaideep Paul
    • Non-Executive directors Sunil Bharti Mittal Awuneba Ajumogobia

Douglas Baillie (till October 2023) John Danilovich

Andrew Green Akhil Gupta

Shravin Bharti Mittal Annika Poutiainen Ravi Rajagopal

Kelly Bayer Rosmarin (till October 2023)

Tsega Gebreyes

  • Others

Ian Basil Ferrao

Michael Foley (till June 2023) Razvan Ungureanu

Luc Serviant (till May 2023) Daddy Mukadi Bujitu

Neelesh Singh (till December 2022) Ramakrishna Lella

Edgard Maidou (till June 2023) Rogany Ramiah

Stephen Nthenge

Vimal Kumar Ambat (till October 2022) Ashish Malhotra (till June 2022)

Vinny Puri (till June 2022)

C Surendran (till December 2022)

Olubayo Augustus Adekanmbi (till November 2022) Anthony Shiner (since June 2022)

Apoorva Mehrotra (since October 2022) Oliver Fortuin (since June 2023)

Martin Frechette (since June 2023) Carl Cruz (since May 2023)

Anwar Soussa (since August 2023) Jacques Barkhuizen (since October 2023) Sunil Taldar (since October 2023)

In the ordinary course of business, there are certain transactions among the group entities and all these transactions are on arm’s length basis. However, the intra-group transactions and balances, and the income and expenses arising from such transactions, are eliminated on consolidation. The transactions with remaining related parties for the years ended 31 March 2024 and 2023 respectively, are described below:

The summary of transactions with the above-mentioned parties is as follows:

For the year ended
   31 March 2024    31 March 2023  
RelationshipParent companyIntermediate parent entityFellow subsidiariesJoint Ventur eAssociatesOther related partiesParent companyIntermediate parent entityFellow subsidiariesJoint VentureAssociatesOther related parties
Sale / rendering of services98001377
Purchase / receiving of services1657116590
Rent and other charges11
Guarantee and collateral fee paid23
Purchase of assets03
Dividend Paid119109
Dividend Received2

The outstanding balance of the above-mentioned related parties are as follows:

RelationshipParent   company    Intermediate parent entity               Fellow subsidiaries    Joint venture                   Associate
As of 31 March 2024     
Trade payables8400
Trade receivables470
Corporate guarantee fee payable1
Guarantees and collaterals taken (including performance guarantees)(1)2,000
As of 31 March 2023     
Trade payables12311
Trade receivables446
Corporate guarantee fee payable1
Guarantees and collaterals taken (including performance guarantees)2,000
Reimbursement asset10

(1) This guarantee (200% of the bond amount) relates to the $1bn USD non-convertible bonds (refer to note 14) with original maturity of 2024. The Group had prepaid a portion of these bonds and the outstanding amount as on 31 March 2024 is $550m (31 March 2023: $550m). In accordance with the legal and regulatory requirements pertaining to these bonds, the guarantee amount can be reduced only once these are paid in full and thus the full guarantee amount (based on issued value of guarantee) is disclosed.

(c) Key management compensation (‘KMP’)

KMP are those persons having authority and responsibility for planning, directing and controlling the activities of the Group, directly or indirectly, including any director, whether executive or otherwise. For the Group, these include executive committee members. Remuneration to KMP were as follows:

                           For the year ended 
               31 March 2024      31 March 2023
Short-term employee benefits1110
Performance linked incentive44
Share-based payment32
Other long term benefits22
Other benefits                                   1                           0
                                  21                           18

17. Fair Value of financial assets and liabilities

The details as to the carrying value, fair value and the level of fair value measurement hierarchy of the group’s financial

instruments are as follows:

Carrying value as ofFair value as of
  31 March 202431 March 202331 March 202431 March 2023
Financial assets     
FVTPL     
Derivatives     
– Forward and option contractsLevel 2104104
– Currency swaps and interest rate swapsLevel 20909
Other bank balancesLevel 20404
InvestmentsLevel 20000
Amortised cost     
Trade receivables 184145184145
Cash and cash equivalents 620586620586
Other bank balances 353127353127
Balance held under mobile money trust 737616737616
Other financial assets 136176136176
  2,0401,6672,0401,667
  Financial liabilities     
FVTPL     
Derivatives     
– Forward and option contractsLevel 2225225
– Currency swaps and interest rate swapsLevel 20000
– Cross currency swapsLevel 31554315543
– Embedded derivativesLevel 20000
Amortised cost     
Long term borrowings – fixed rateLevel 1554540
Long term borrowings – fixed rateLevel 2271227257210
Long term borrowings – floating rate 676452676452
Short term borrowings – fixed rateLevel 1550549
Short term borrowings 876945876945
Put option liabilityLevel 3552569552569
Trade payables 422460422460
Mobile money wallet balance 722582722582
Other financial liabilities 586680586680
  4,8324,5174,8174,486

The following methods/assumptions were used to estimate the fair values:

  • The carrying value of bank deposits, trade receivables, trade payables, balance held under mobile money trust, mobile money wallet balance, short-term borrowings, other current financial assets and liabilities approximate their fair value mainly due to the short-term maturities of these instruments.
  • Fair value of quoted financial instruments is based on quoted market price at the reporting date.
  • The fair value of non-current financial assets, long-term borrowings and other financial liabilities is estimated by discounting future cash flows using current rates applicable to instruments with similar terms, currency, credit risk and remaining ma- turities.
  • The fair values of derivatives are estimated by using pricing models, wherein the inputs to those models are based on readily observable market parameters. The valuation models used by the Group reflect the contractual terms of the deriv-

atives (including the period to maturity), and market-based parameters such as interest rates, foreign exchange rates, vol- atility etc. These models do not contain a high level of subjectivity as the valuation techniques used do not require signifi- cant judgement and inputs thereto are readily observable.

  • The fair value of the put option liability (included in other financial liability) to buy back the stake held by non-controlling interest in AMC BV is measured at the present value of the redemption amount (i.e. expected cash outflows). Since, the liability will be based on fair value of the equity shares of AMC BV (subject to a cap) at the end of 48 months , the expected cash flows are estimated by determining the projected equity valuation of the AMC BV at the end of 48 months expiring in August 2025 and applying cap thereon.

During the year ended 31 March 2024 and 31 March 2023 there were no transfers between Level 1 and Level 2 fair value measurements, and no transfer into and out of Level 3 fair value measurements.

The following table describes the key inputs used in the valuation (basis discounted cash flow technique) of the Level 2 and Level 3 financial assets/liabilities as of 31 March 2024 and 31 March 2023:

 Financial assets / liabilitiesInputs used
Currency swaps, forward and option contracts and other bank balancesForward foreign currency exchange rates, Interest rate
Interest rate swapsPrevailing / forward interest rates in market, Interest rate
Embedded derivativesPrevailing interest rates in market, inflation rates
Other financial assets / fixed rate borrowing / other financial liabilitiesPrevailing interest rates in market, Future payouts, Interest rates

Key inputs for level 3

The fair value of cross currency swap (CCS) has been estimated based on the contractual terms of the CCS and parameters such as interest rates, foreign exchange rates etc. Since the data from any observable markets in respect of interest rates is not available, the interest rates are considered to be significant unobservable inputs to the valuation of this CCS.

Reconciliation of fair value measurements categorised within level 3 of the fair value hierarchy Financial Assets/(Liabilities) (net)

  • Cross Currency Swaps (‘CCS’)
                                             For the year ended                  
            31 March 2024                              31 March 2023
Opening Balance(43)(6)
Recognised in finance costs in profit and loss(unrealised)(284)(65)
Repayment of Interest94
Cross Currency Swap repayment2322
Foreign currency translation impact recognised in OCI                                                                                         140                                                       2
Closing Balance                                                                               (155)                                                   (43)
  • Put option liability
                           For the year ended 
       31 March 2024                                           31 March 2023
Opening Balance(569)(579)
Liability de-recognised by crediting transaction with NCI reserve(1)2416
Recognised in finance costs in profit and loss (unrealised)                                                                                                         (7)                                  (6)
Closing Balance                                                                                                           (552)                             (569)

(1)  Put option liability was reduced by $24m (March 2023: $16m) for dividend distribution to put option NCI holders. Any dividend paid to the put option NCI holders is adjustable against the put option liability based on put option arrangement.

18. Events after the balance sheet date

No material subsequent events or transactions have occurred since the date of statement of financial position except as disclosed below:

  • The Board recommended a final dividend of 3.57 cents per share on 8 May 2024.

Appendix

Additional information pertaining to three months ended March 31, 2024 Condensed Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income

(All amounts are in US$ millions unless stated otherwise)

For three months ended
 31 March 202431 March 2023
Income  
Revenue1,1181,341
Other income34
 1,1211,345
Expenses  
Network operating expenses210268
Access charges63102
License fee and spectrum usage charges6162
Employee benefits expense7276
Sales and marketing expenses140134
Impairment loss on financial assets(4)
Other expenses5548
Depreciation and amortisation173220
 774906
Operating profit347439
Finance costs – Derivative and foreign exchange losses  
Nigerian naira32354
Other currencies3335
– Other finance costs120121
Finance income(11)(6)
Share of profit for associate and joint venture accounted for using equity method(0)2
(Loss)/profit before tax(118)233
Tax expense(27)6
(Loss)/profit for the period(91)227
(Loss)/profit before tax (as presented above)(118)233
Add/(less): Exceptional items (net)323
Underlying profit before tax205233
   
(Loss)/profit after tax (as presented above)(91)227
Add/(less): Exceptional items (net)219(99)
Underlying profit after tax128128
  Other comprehensive income (‘OCI’)  
Items to be reclassified subsequently to profit or loss:  
Net loss due to foreign currency translation differences(179)(41)
Gain on debt instruments at fair value through other comprehensive income
Tax on above2(1)
Share of OCI of associate and joint venture accounted for using equity method00
 (177)(42)
Items not to be reclassified subsequently to profit or loss:  
Re-measurement (loss)/gain on defined benefit plans(0)1
Tax on above0(0)
 (0)1
Other comprehensive loss for the period(177)(41)
Total comprehensive (loss)/income for the period(268)186
  For three months ended
31 March 202431 March 2023 
  (Loss)/profit for the period attributable to:  (91)  227
Owners of the company(104)195
Non-controlling interests1332
Other comprehensive loss for the period attributable to:(177)(41)
Owners of the company(175)(41)
Non-controlling interests(2)0
Total comprehensive (loss)/income for the period attributable to:(268)187
Owners of the company(279)154
Non-controlling interests1133

Alternative performance measures (APMs)

Introduction

In the reporting of financial information, the directors have adopted various APMs. These measures are not defined by International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and therefore may not be directly comparable with other companies APMs, including those in the Group’s industry.

APMs should be considered in addition to, and are not intended to be a substitute for, or superior to, IFRS measurements.

Purpose

The directors believe that these APMs assist in providing additional useful information on the underlying trends, performance and position of the Group.

APMs are also used to enhance the comparability of information between reporting periods and geographical units (such as like-for-like sales), by adjusting for non-recurring or uncontrollable factors which affect IFRS measures, to aid users in understanding the Group’s performance. Consequently, APMs are used by the directors and management for performance analysis, planning, reporting and incentive-setting purposes.

The directors believe the following metrics to be the APMs used by the Group to help evaluate growth trends, establish budgets and assess operational performance and efficiencies. These measures provide an enhanced understanding of the Group’s results and related trends, therefore increasing transparency and clarity into the core results of the business.

The following metrics are useful in evaluating the Group’s operating performance:

  APMClosest equivalent IFRS measure  Adjustments to reconcile to IFRS measure  Definition and purpose
            EBITDA and margin            Operating profit            Depreciation and amortisationThe Group defines EBITDA as operating profit/(loss) for the period before depreciation and amortisation. The Group defines EBITDA margin as EBITDA divided by revenue. EBITDA and margin are measures used by the directors to assess the trading performance of the business and are therefore the measure of segment profit that the Group presents under IFRS. EBITDA and margin are also presented on a consolidated basis because the directors believe it is important to consider profitability on abasisconsistentwiththat of the Group’soperatingsegments. When presented on a consolidated basis, EBITDA and margin are APMs. Depreciation and amortisation is a non-cash item which fluctuates depending on the timing of capital investment and useful economic life. Directors believe that a measure which removes this volatility improves comparability of the Group’s results period on period and hence is adjusted to arrive at EBITDA and margin.
      Underlying profit / (loss) before tax        Profit / (loss) before tax        Exceptional items (Refer note on exceptional items on page 55)      The Group defines underlying profit/(loss) before tax as profit/(loss) before tax adjusted for exceptional items. The directors view underlying profit/(loss) before tax to be a meaningful measure to analyse the Group’s profitability.
  APMClosest equivalent IFRS measure  Adjustments to reconcile to IFRS measure  Definition and purpose
              Effective tax rate              Reported tax rate    Exceptional items (Refer note on exceptional items on page 55)Foreign exchange rate movementsOne-off tax impact of prior period, tax litigation settlement and impact of tax on permanent differencesThe Group defines effective tax rate as reported tax rate (reported tax charge divided by reported profit before tax) adjusted for exceptional items, foreign exchange rate movements and one-off tax items of prior period adjustment, tax settlements and impact of permanent differences on tax. This provides an indication of the current on-going tax rate across the Group. Foreign exchange rate movements are specific items that are non-tax deductible in a few of the entities which are loss making and/or where DTA is not yet triggered and hence are considered to hinder comparison of the Group’s effective tax rate on a period-to-period basis and therefore excluded to arrive at effective tax rate. One-off tax impact on account of prior period adjustment, any tax litigation settlement and tax impact on permanent differences are additional specific items that because of their size and frequency in the results, are considered to hinder comparison of the Group’s effective tax rate on a period-to-period basis.
Underlying profit/(loss) after taxProfit/(loss) for the period  Exceptional items (Refer note on exceptional items on page 55)The Group defines underlying profit/(loss) after tax as profit/(loss) for the period adjusted for exceptional items. The directors view underlying profit/(loss) after tax to be a meaningful measure to analyse the Group’s profitability.
Earnings per share before exceptional items    EPS  Exceptional items (Refer note on exceptional items on page 55)The Group defines earnings per share before exceptional items as profit/(loss) for the period before exceptional items attributable to owners of the company divided by the weighted average number of ordinary shares in issue during the financial period. This measure reflects the earnings per share before exceptional items for each share unit of the company.
Earnings per share before exceptional items and derivative and foreign exchange losses*        EPS    Exceptional items (Refer note on exceptional items on page 55)Derivative and foreign exchange lossesThe Group defines earnings per share before exceptional items and derivative and foreign exchange losses as profit/(loss) for the period before exceptional items and derivative and foreign exchange losses (net of tax) attributable to owners of the company divided by the weighted average number of ordinary shares in issue during the financial period. This measure reflects the earnings per share before exceptional items and derivative and foreign exchange losses for each share unit of the company. Derivative and foreign exchange losses are due to revaluation of US dollar balance sheet liabilities and derivatives as a result of currency devaluation.
      Operating free cash flow    Cash generated from operating activitiesIncome tax paidChanges in working capitalOther non-cash itemsNon-operating incomeExceptional items (Refer note on exceptional items on page 55)Capital expenditures      The Group defines operating free cash flow as net cash generated from operating activities before income tax paid, changes in working capital, other non-cash items, non-operating income, exceptional items, and after capital expenditures. The Group views operating free cash flow as a key liquidity measure, as it indicates the cash available to pay dividends, repay debt or make further investments in the Group.
    Net debt and leverage ratio        Borrowings  Lease liabilitiesCash and cash equivalentTerm deposits with banksDeposits given against borrowings/ non- derivative financial instrumentsFair value hedgesThe Group defines net debt as borrowings including lease liabilities less cash and cash equivalents, term deposits with banks, deposits given against borrowings/non- derivative financial instruments, processing costs related to borrowings and fair value hedge adjustments. The Group defines leverage ratio as net debt divided by EBITDA for the preceding 12 months. The directors view net debt and the leverage ratio to be meaningful measures to monitor the Group’s ability to cover its debt through its earnings.
    Return on capital employed      No direct equivalent    Exceptional items (Refer note on exceptional items on page 55) to arrive at EBITThe Group defines return on capital employed (‘ROCE’) as EBIT divided by average capital employed. The directors view ROCE as a financial ratio that measures the Group’s profitability and the efficiency with which its capital is being utilised. The Group defines EBIT as operating profit/(loss) for the period. Capital employed is defined as sum of equity attributable to owners of the company (grossed up for put option provided to minority shareholders to provide them liquidity
  APMClosest equivalent IFRS measure  Adjustments to reconcile to IFRS measure  Definition and purpose
   as part of the sale agreements executed with them during year ended 31 March 2022), non-controlling interests and net debt. Average capital employed is average of capital employed at the closing and beginning of the relevant period. For quarterly computations, ROCE is calculated by dividing EBIT for the preceding 12 months by the average capital employed (being the average of the capital employed averages for the preceding four quarters).

* New APM added during the year ended 31 March 2024

Some of the Group’s IFRS measures and APMs are translated at constant currency exchange rates to measure the organic performance of the Group. In determining the percentage change in constant currency terms, both current and previous financial reporting period’s results have been converted using exchange rates prevailing as on 31 March 2023 for all countries, except Nigeria. For Nigeria the constant currency exchange rate used is 752.2 NGN/USD which is prevailing rate as on 30 June 2023.Reported currency percentage change is derived based on the average actual periodic exchange rates for that financial period. Variances between constant currency and reported currency percentages are due to exchange rate movements between the previous financial reporting period and the current period. The constant currency numbers only reflect the retranslation of reported numbers into exchange rates as of 31 March 2023 (Nigeria as of 30 June 2023) and are not intended to represent the wider impact that currency changes has on the business.

Reconciliation between GAAP and Alternative Performance Measures

Table A: EBITDA and margin

DescriptionUnit of measureYear ended
March 2024March 2023
Operating profit$m1,6401,757
Add:   
Depreciation and amortisation$m788818
EBITDA$m2,4282,575
Revenue$m4,9795,255
EBITDA margin (%)%48.8%49.0%

Table B: Underlying profit / (loss) before tax

DescriptionUnit of measureYear ended
March 2024March 2023
(Loss) / Profit before tax$m(63)1,034
Finance cost – exceptional items$m807
Underlying profit before tax$m7441,034

Table C: Effective tax rate

    Description  Unit of measureYear ended
March 2024March 2023
Profit before taxationIncome tax expense  Tax rate %Profit before taxationIncome tax expense  Tax rate %
Reported effective tax rate (after EI)$m(63)26(41.1%)1,034284 27.4%
Exceptional items (provided below)$m807258 161  
Reported effective tax rate (before EI)$m74428438.3%1,034445 43.0%
Adjusted for:        
Foreign exchange rate movement for loss making  entity  and/or  non-DTA  operating companies & holding companies  $m  57    106   
One-off adjustment and tax on permanent differences$m24 5(1)  
Effective tax rate$m80130838.4%1,14544438.8%
Exceptional items        
1. Deferred tax asset recognition$m– 258 a161b
 $m    
2. Derivative and foreign exchange rate losses807  
Total$m807258 161 
  1. $258m exceptional tax gain in full year period ended 31 March 2024 is tax gain corresponding to $807m derivative and foreign exchange losses following Nigerian naira and Malawian kwacha devaluation.
    1. $161m exceptional tax gain in full year ended 31 March 2023 is on account of deferred tax credit in Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania.

Table D: Underlying profit / (loss) after tax

DescriptionUnit of measureYear ended
March 2024March 2023
(Loss) / profit after tax$m(89)750
Finance cost – exceptional items$m807
Tax exceptional items$m(258)(161)
Underlying profit after tax$m460589

Table E: Earnings per share before exceptional items

DescriptionUnit of measureYear ended
March 2024March 2023
(Loss)/Profit for the period attributable to owners of the company$m(165)663
Finance cost – exceptional items$m807
Tax exceptional items$m(258)(161)
Non-controlling interest exceptional items$m(4)10
Profit for the period attributable to owners of the company- before exceptional items$m380512
Weighted average number of ordinary shares in issue during the financial period.Million3,7513,752
Earnings per share before exceptional itemsCents10.113.6

Table F: Earnings per share before exceptional items and derivative and foreign exchange losses

DescriptionUoMYear ended
March 202431-Mar-23
(Loss)/Profit for the period attributable to owners of the company$m(165)663
Finance cost – exceptional items$m807
Tax exceptional items$m(258)(161)
Non-controlling interest exceptional items$m(4)10
Profit for the period attributable to owners of the company- be- fore exceptional items$m380512
Derivative and foreign exchange losses (excluding exceptional items)$m452338
Tax on derivative and foreign exchange losses (excluding excep- tional items)$m(130)(77)
Non-controlling interest on derivative and foreign exchange losses (excluding exceptional items) – net of tax$m(17)(4)
Profit for the period attributable to owners of the company- be- fore exceptional items and derivative and foreign exchange losses$m685769
Weighted average number of ordinary shares in issue during the fi- nancial periodMillion3,7513,752
Earnings per share before exceptional items and derivative and foreign exchange lossesCents18.320.5

Table G: Operating free cash flow

DescriptionUnit of measureYear ended
March 2024March 2023
Net cash generated from operating activities$m2,2592,229
Add: Income tax paid$m344397
Net cash generation from operation before tax$m2,6032,626
Less: Changes in working capital   
Increase in trade receivables$m7945
Increase in inventories$m1613
Increase in trade payables$m(56)(9)
Increase in mobile money wallet balance$m(207)(120)
(Increase)/Decrease in provisions$m(3)32
Increase in deferred revenue$m(21)(37)
Increase in other financial and non-financial liabilities$m(76)(113)
Increase in other financial and non-financial assets$m93140
Operating cash flow before changes in working capital$m2,4282,577
Other non-cash adjustments$m(2)
EBITDA$m2,4282,575
Less: Capital expenditure$m(737)(748)
Operating free cash flow$m1,6911,827

Table H: Net debt and leverage

DescriptionUnit of measureAs atAs at
March 2024March 2023
Long term borrowing, net of current portion$m9471,233
Short-term borrowings and current portion of long-term borrowing$m1,426945
Add: Processing costs related to borrowings$m87
Less: Fair value hedge adjustment$m(1)(5)
Less: Cash and cash equivalents$m(620)(586)
Less: Term deposits with banks$m(344)(117)
Add: Lease liabilities$m2,0892,047
Net debt$m3,5053,524
EBITDA (LTM)$m2,4282,575
Leverage (LTM)times1.4x1.4x

Table I: Return on capital employed

DescriptionUnit of measureYear ended
March 2024March 2023
Operating profit (LTM)$m1,6401,757
Equity attributable to owners of the Company$m2,1603,635
Add: Put option given to minority shareholders 1$m552569
Gross equity attributable to owners of the Company 1$m2,7124,204
Non-controlling interests (NCI)$m140173
Net debt (refer Table H)$m3,5053,524
Capital employed$m6,3577,901
Average capital employed 1$m7,1307,536
Return on capital employed%23.0%23.3%

(1) Average capital employed is calculated as average of capital employed at closing and opening of relevant period.

Note on exceptional items

“Exceptional items refer to items of income or expense within the consolidated statement of comprehensive income, which are of such size, nature or incidence that their exclusion is considered necessary to explain the performance of the Group and improve the comparability between periods. Reversals of previous exceptional items are also considered as exceptional items. When applicable, these items include amongst others, currency devaluation of local currencies against the US Dollar, network modernisation, share issue expenses, loan prepayment costs, the settlement of legal and regulatory cases, restructuring costs, impairments, gain on sale of tower assets and the initial recognition of deferred tax assets etc.

The Group has US Dollar liabilities in subsidiaries in which the US Dollar is not the functional currency. Changes in the US Dollar exchange rate against the relevant functional currency leads to foreign exchange gains or losses recorded in the statement of comprehensive income. With respect to the classification of whether these gains or losses, as a result of the devaluation of local currencies against the US Dollar, as an exceptional item, the Group presents the impact as an exceptional item only if a particular currency has devalued (or appreciated) due to a structural change in the local market (for example as a result of changes in government policy) or the devaluation in a month is more than a threshold percentage. The devaluation is also only reported as exceptional if the resultant impact on the Group’s profit before tax is higher than a monetary threshold. Reversals of foreign exchange losses as a result of the above are also reported as exceptional. The Group continues to review its exceptional items policy to align it to changes in the macro-economic environment. For the current year, this did not have a change on the amounts reported as exceptional items.”

Statement of Director’s Responsibilities

We confirm that to the best of our knowledge:

  1. The financial statements, prepared in accordance with the relevant financial reporting framework, give a true and fair view of the assets, liabilities, financial position and profit or loss of the company and the undertakings included in the consolidation taken as a whole.
  2. The management report includes a fair review of the development and performance of the business and the position of the company, and the undertakings included in the consolidation taken as a whole, together with a summary description of the principal risks and uncertainties that they face.
  3. The financial statements include disclosure of related parties’ transactions that have taken place during the year

and that have materially affected the financial position or performance of the company.

This responsibility statement was approved by the board of directors on 08 May 2024 and is signed on its behalf by:

Segun Ogunsanya Chief Executive Officer 08 May 2024

Glossary

Technical and Industry Terms

4G data customerA customer having a 4G handset and who has used at least 1 MB on any of the Group’s GPRS, 3G and 4G network in the last 30 days.
Airtel Money (mobile money)Airtel Money is the brand name for Airtel Africa’s mobile money products and services. The term is used interchangeably with ‘mobile money’ when referring to our mobile money business, finance, operations and activities.
Airtel Money ARPUMobile money average revenue per user per month. This is derived by dividing total mobile money revenue during the relevant period by the average number of active mobile money customers and dividing the result by the number of months in the relevant period.
Airtel Money customer baseTotal number of active subscribers who have enacted any mobile money usage event in last 30 days.
Airtel Money customer penetrationThe proportion of total Airtel Africa active mobile customers who use mobile money services. Calculated by dividing the mobile money customer base by the Group’s total customer base.
Airtel Money transaction valueAny financial transaction performed on Airtel Africa’s mobile money platform.
Airtel Money transaction value per customer per monthCalculated by dividing the total mobile money transaction value on the Group’s mobile money platform during the relevant period by the average number of active mobile money customers and dividing the result by the number of months in the relevant period.
  Airtime credit serviceA value-added service where the customer can take an airtime credit and continue to use our voice and data services, with the credit recovered through subsequent customer recharge. This is classified as a Mobile Services product (not a Mobile Money product).
  ARPUAverage revenue per user per month. This is derived by dividing total revenue during the relevant period by the average number of customers during the period and dividing the result by the number of months in the relevant period.
  Average customersThe average number of active customers for a period. Derived from the monthly averages during the relevant period. Monthly averages are calculated using the number of active customers at the beginning and the end of each month.
CBNCentral Bank of Nigeria
  Capital expenditureAn alternative performance measure (non-GAAP). Defined as investment in gross fixed assets (both tangible and intangible but excluding spectrum and licences) plus capital work in progress (CWIP), excluding provisions on CWIP for the period.
          Constant currencyThe Group has presented certain financial information that is calculated by translating the results at a fixed ‘constant currency’ exchange rate, which is done to measure the organic performance of the Group and represents the performance of the business in a better way. Constant currency amounts and growth rates are calculated using closing exchange rates as of 31 March 2023 for all reporting regions and service segments except for Nigeria region and service segment. For the Nigeria region and service segment, constant currency amounts and growth rates have been calculated using the closing exchange rate prevailing as of 30 June 2023 In June 2023, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced changes to the operations in the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market, including the abolishment of segmentation, with all segments now collapsing into the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window and the reintroduction of the ‘Willing Buyer, Willing Seller’ model at the I&E window. As a result of this CBN decision, the Nigerian naira has devalued against US Dollar by approximately 62%. This change announced by CBN led to a material impact on the Group’s financial statements and for better representation of the performance of the business and comparability the closing exchange rate prevailing as of 30 Jun 2023 i.e. NGN 752.2/USD has been used for calculation of constant currency amounts and growth rates of Nigeria region and service segment.
CustomerDefined as a unique active subscriber with a unique mobile telephone number who has used any of Airtel’s services in the last 30 days.
Customer baseThe total number of active subscribers that have used any of our services (voice calls, SMS, data usage or mobile money transaction) in the last 30 days.
  Data ARPUData average revenue per user per month. Data ARPU is derived by dividing total data revenue during the relevant period by the average number of data customers and dividing the result by the number of months in the relevant period.
Data customer baseThe total number of subscribers who have consumed at least 1 MB on the Group’s GPRS, 3G or 4G network in the last 30 days.
Data customer penetrationThe proportion of customers using data services. Calculated by dividing the data customer base by the total customer base.
Data usage per customer per monthCalculated by dividing the total MBs consumed on the Group’s network during the relevant period by the average data customer base over the same period and dividing the result by the number of months in the relevant period.
    Digitalisation  We use the term digitalisation in its broadest sense to encompass both digitisation actions and processes that convert analogue information into a digital form and thereby bring customers into the digital environment, and the broader digitalisation processes of controlling, connecting and planning processes digitally; the processes that effect digital transformation of our business, and of industry, economics and society as a whole through bringing about new business models, socio-economic structures and organisational patterns.
  Diluted earnings per shareDiluted EPS is calculated by adjusting the profit for the year attributable to the shareholders and the weighted average number of shares considered for deriving basic EPS, for the effects of all the shares that could have been issued upon conversion of all dilutive potential shares. The dilutive potential shares are adjusted for the proceeds receivable had the shares actually been issued at fair value. Further, the dilutive potential shares are deemed converted as at beginning of the period, unless issued at a later date during the period.
Earnings per share (EPS)EPS is calculated by dividing the profit for the period attributable to the owners of the company by the weighted average number of ordinary shares outstanding during the period.
Foreign exchange rate movements for non-DTA operating companies and holding companiesForeign exchange rate movements are specific items that are non-tax deductible in a few of our operating entities, hence these hinder a like-for-like comparison of the Group’s effective tax rate on a period-to-period basis and are therefore excluded when calculating the effective tax rate.
Indefeasible Rights of Use (IRU)A standard long-term leasehold contractual agreement that confers upon the holder the exclusive right to use a portion of the capacity of a fibre route for a stated period.
Information and communication technologies (ICT)ICT refers to all communication technologies, including the internet, wireless networks, cell phones, computers, software, middleware, videoconferencing, social networking, and other media applications and services.
Interconnect user charges (IUC)Interconnect user charges are the charges paid to the telecom operator on whose network a call is terminated.
Lease liabilityLease liability represents the present value of future lease payment obligations.
LeverageAn alternative performance measure (non-GAAP). Leverage (or leverage ratio) is calculated by dividing net debt at the end of the relevant period by the EBITDA for the preceding 12 months.
Minutes of usageMinutes of usage refer to the duration in minutes for which customers use the Group’s network for making and receiving voice calls. It includes all incoming and outgoing call minutes, including roaming calls.
Mobile servicesMobile services are our core telecom services, mainly voice and data services, but also including revenue from tower operation services provided by the Group and excluding mobile money services.
  Net debtAn alternative performance measure (non-GAAP). The Group defines net debt as borrowings including lease liabilities less cash and cash equivalents, term deposits with banks, processing costs related to borrowings and fair value hedge adjustments.
  Net debt to EBITDA (LTM)An alternative performance measure (non-GAAP) Calculated by dividing net debt as at the end of the relevant period by EBITDA for the preceding 12 months (from the end of the relevant period). This is also referred to as the leverage ratio.
  Network towers or ‘sites’Physical network infrastructure comprising a base transmission system (BTS) which holds the radio transceivers (TRXs) that define a cell and coordinates the radio link protocols with the mobile device. It includes all ground- based, roof top and in-building solutions.
Operating company (OpCo)Operating company (or OpCo) is a defined corporate business unit, providing telecoms services and mobile money services in the Group’s footprint.
Operating free cash flowAn alternative performance measure (non-GAAP). Calculated by subtracting capital expenditure from EBITDA.
Operating leverageAn alternative performance measure (non-GAAP). Operating leverage is a measure of the operating efficiency of the business. It is calculated by dividing operating expenditure (excluding regulatory charges) by total revenue.
Operating profitOperating profit is a GAAP measure of profitability. Calculated as revenue less operating expenditure (including depreciation and amortisation and operating exceptional items).
Other revenueOther revenue includes revenues from messaging, value added services (VAS), enterprise, site sharing and handset sale revenue.
  Reported currencyOur reported currency is US dollars. Accordingly, actual periodic exchange rates are used to translate the local currency financial statements of OpCos into US dollars. Under reported currency the assets and liabilities are translated into US dollars at the exchange rates prevailing at the reporting date whereas the statements of profit and loss are translated into US dollars at monthly average exchange rates.
  SmartphoneA smartphone is defined as a mobile phone with an interactive touch screen that allows the user to access the internet and additional data applications, providing additional functionality to that of a basic feature phone which is used only for making voice calls and sending and receiving text messages.
Smartphone penetrationCalculated by dividing the number of smartphone devices in use by the total number of customers.
Total MBs on networkIncludes total MBs consumed (uploaded and downloaded) on the network during the relevant period.
EBITDefined as operating profit/(loss) for the period adjusted for exceptional items.
EBITDAAn alternative performance measure (non-GAAP). Defined as operating profit before depreciation, amortisation and exceptional items.
EBITDA marginAn alternative performance measure (non-GAAP). Calculated by dividing EBITDA for the relevant period by revenue for the relevant period.
RevenueAn alternative performance measure (non-GAAP). Defined as revenue before exceptional items.
Unstructured Supplementary Service DataUnstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), also known as “quick codes” or “feature codes”, is a communications protocol for GSM mobile operators, similar to SMS messaging. It has a variety of uses such as WAP browsing, prepaid callback services, mobile-money services, location-based content services, menu-based information services, and for configuring phones on the network.
Voice minutes of usage per customer per monthCalculated by dividing the total number of voice minutes of usage on the Group’s network during the relevant period by the average number of customers and dividing the result by the number of months in the relevant period.
Weighted average number of sharesThe weighted average number of shares is calculated by multiplying the number of outstanding shares by the portion of the reporting period those shares covered, doing this for each portion and then summing the total.

Abbreviations

2GSecond-generation mobile technology
3GThird-generation mobile technology
4GFourth-generation mobile technology
5GFifth-generation mobile technology
ARPUAverage revenue per user
bnBillion
bpsBasis points
CAGRCompound annual growth rate
CapexCapital expenditure
CSRCorporate social responsibility
DTADeferred Tax Asset
EBITEarnings before interest and tax
EBITDAEarnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation
EPSEarnings per share
FPPPFinancial position and prospects procedures
GAAPGenerally accepted accounting principles
GBGigabyte
HoldCoHolding company
IASInternational accounting standards
ICTInformation and communication technologies
ICT (Hub)Information communication technology (Hub) IFRS
IFRSInternational financial reporting standards
IMFInternational monetary fund
IPOInitial public offering
KPIsKey performance indicators
KYCKnow your customer
LTELong-term evolution (4G technology)
LTMLast 12 months
mMillion
MBMegabyte
MIMinority interest (non-controlling interest)
NGONon-governmental organisation
OpCoOperating company
P2PPerson to person
PAYGPay-as-you-go
QoSQuality of service
RANRadio access network
SIMSubscriber identification module
Single RANSingle radio access network
SMSShort messaging service
TBTerabyte
TelecomsTelecommunications
Unit of measureUnit of measure
USSDUnstructured supplementary service data

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