In October 2021, the Airtel Africa PLC Board approved an upgrade to the progressive dividend policy as a result of continued strong business performance and significant progress made in reducing the leverage ratio. The new policy aims to grow the dividend annually by a mid to high-single digit percentage from a new base of 5 cents per share for FY 2022, with a continued focus to further strengthen the balance sheet. The Board has declared an interim dividend of 2 cents per share (1.5 cents in H1'21) in line with this upgraded dividend policy.
Other financial highlights include:
H1'22 reported revenue grew by 25.2% to $2,272m with double digit growth across all regions. Q2 reported revenue growth of 20.3%.
Revenue in constant currency grew by 27.6%.
Strong double-digit constant currency revenue growth across all regions: Nigeria up 32.4%, East Africa up 25.8% and Francophone Africa up 22.1%; and across all key services, Voice up 19.7%, Data up 36.9% and Mobile Money up 42.0%.
Underlying EBITDA grew by 35.2% to $1,098m in reported currency and underlying EBITDA margin improved to 48.3%, an increase of 360 basis points led by both revenue growth and improved operational efficiencies.
Operating profit up 55.1% to $732m in reported currency.
Profit after tax more than doubled to $335m, largely due to higher profit before tax which more than offset the associated increase in tax charges.
Basic EPS was 7.6 cents, an increase of 155.9%, as a result of higher profit. EPS before exceptional items increased to 7.5 cents from 3.0 cents in previous period.
Operating free cash flow was $853m, up 43.1%, and over the last 18 months they have up streamed more than $570m across our operating entities.
Leverage ratio reduced to 1.5x from 2.2x.
Customer base grew by 5.4% to 122.7 million, with increased penetration across mobile data (customer base up 10.9%) and mobile money services (customer base up 19.0%). Customer base growth was affected by the new NIN/SIM registration regulations in Nigeria; excluding Nigeria the customer base grew by 13.7%.