Airtel Africa records more than double pretax profit in Q1

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Airtel Africa Plc on Friday reported a quarterly pretax profit of $167.4 million from $80.2 million a year earlier.

The Chief Executive Officer, Raghunath Mandava said the pretax profit, which more than doubled its 2018 figure was boosted by double-digit growth in Nigeria and East Africa.

The firm’s pretax profit for the first quarter ended June 30.

“The business continues to show momentum and we are confident of delivering sustained growth across voice, data and mobile money, underpinning our medium-term aspirations for revenue and profit growth,” Mandava said in a statement.

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The company, which debuted on the London Stock Exchange last month, is backed by investors including SoftBank Group Corp, Warburg Pincus and Temasek Holdings (Private) Ltd.

It operates in a region that has a large untapped market, while its European peers have been suffering.

Total revenue rose 6.9 per cent to $795.9 million in the three months, boosted by a 9.3 per cent rise in the company’s customer base to 99.7 million despite a hit from currency translation.

Airtel Africa said devaluation of the Zambian Kwacha, Malawian Kwacha and Central African Franc largely drove a $23 million hit to revenue in the quarter.

Up to Thursday’s close, the company’s London-listed shares had risen 3 per cent since debut.

The company’s shares also made their Nigerian debut with a flotation in Lagos earlier this month.

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