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Airtel Africa Generates Revenue Growing By 11.5% To $5,255m At Year Ended 31 March 2023



Airtel Africa, UNICEF Reaffirm Commitment To Accelerate Access To Quality Education Across Africa

…Continuing To Unlock Growth, Delivering Double-Digit Revenue Growth, Resilient Margin

 Rashidat Okunlade Writes

Airtel Africa Plc. has generated revenue in constant currency grew by 17.6%, with revenues growing by 11.5% to $5,255m in reported currency.

Highlights Operating key performance indicators (KPIs)

Total customer base grew by 9.0% to 140.0 million, as the penetration of mobile data and mobile money services continued to rise, driving a 16.9% increase in data customers to 54.6 million and a 20.4% increase in mobile money customers to 31.5 million.

Constant currency ARPU growth of 7.4% was largely driven by increased usage across voice, data, and mobile money.

Mobile money transaction value increased by 41.3%, with Q4’23 annualised transaction value exceeding $102bn in constant currency.

Financial performance

  • Revenue in constant currency grew by 17.6%, with revenues growing by 11.5% to $5,255m in reported currency.
  • While each segment’s reported currency revenue growth was impacted by currency devaluation, they all delivered double-digit constant currency revenue growth. Across the Group mobile service revenue grew by 16.2% in constant currency, driven by voice revenue growth of 11.8% and data revenue growth of 23.8%. Mobile money revenue grew by 29.6% in constant currency.
  • Underlying EBITDA increased by 17.3% in constant currency, and 11.4% in reported currency to $2,575m, with an underlying EBITDA margin of 49.0%, reflecting the resilience of our operating model despite inflationary cost pressures.
  • Profit after tax was $750m, a decrease of only $5m, after including a higher foreign exchange and derivative losses of $245m.
  • Basic EPS at 17.7 cents was up by 5.2% due to higher operating profits and exceptional items gain on deferred tax credit recognition in Kenya, the DRC, and Tanzania partially offset by higher foreign exchange and derivative losses. EPS before exceptional items was 13.6 cents, a reduction of 15.0%, largely due to higher foreign exchange and derivative losses of $245m. EPS before exceptional items and excluding foreign exchange and derivative losses were 20.6 cents, up by 13.4%.

Capital allocation

  • Capex increased by 14.0% to $748m, in line with our guidance, as we continue to invest for future growth. Additionally, we acquired spectrum in Nigeria, the DRC, Tanzania, Zambia and Kenya during the year.
  • In July 2022, the Group prepaid $450m of outstanding external debt at HoldCo. The remaining debt at HoldCo is now $550m, falling due in May 2024. Cash at the holding companies was $398m. Leverage was at 1.4x in March 2023, broadly stable despite $500m of spectrum investment during the year.
  • The Board has recommended a final dividend of 3.27 cents per share, making the total dividend for FY’23 5.45 cents per share, an increase of 9% in line with our progressive dividend policy.

Sustainability strategy

  • The Group’s inaugural Sustainability Report was published in October 2022, reflecting commitment to sustainability and detailing progress against the long-term goals as outlined in the sustainability strategy.
  • UNICEF partnership launched across 6 of our markets providing educational resources, free of charge, to more than 250,000 children this year on our way to reaching one million children by 2027.
  • The Group’s ambition to achieve net zero by 2050 has progressed. We published our Scope 1, 2 and 3 baseline GHG footprint in October 2022 and in May 2023 announced our detailed plans to achieve over 60% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions intensity by 2032.

Olusegun Ogunsanya, Chief Executive Officer, on the trading update: “Over the last year, the operating environment has been challenging in many ways, yet our strategic focus on providing reliable, affordable, and accessible services across our markets has enabled us to sustain our top-line growth momentum. The resilience of our underlying EBITDA margins has shown the effectiveness of our operating model, despite significant inflationary and foreign exchange pressures.

“Strong customer and ARPU growth over the year demonstrates that demand for our services remains very strong and gives us the confidence to continue investing to support our future growth potential. Over the year, we invested $500m on additional spectrum, including 5G, across many of our OpCos which, combined with our capex, will underpin our growth ambitions. Despite this investment, driven by a disciplined capital allocation policy, our balance sheet remains strong and has been further de-risked over the last year by the prepayment of $450m HoldCo debt in July last year. Currencies across our footprint have been under pressure, and the impact of the revaluation of our foreign currency-denominated liabilities provided some headwinds in the last financial year.

“While currency devaluation is not in our control, we have plans to continue to mitigate its impact by growing our revenues at a faster pace than devaluation, with double-digit revenue growth in reported currency delivered this year and as we continue to reduce our foreign currency exposure across our balance sheet.

‘Our six-pillar strategy continues to provide the basis for stakeholder value creation by facilitating the continued expansion of our services to enhance both digital and financial inclusion across Africa. This strategy will continue and will be underpinned by our sustainability strategy as articulated in our Sustainability Report published in October 2022.

“I am pleased with this year’s performance and wish to thank all our customers, business partners, governments, and regulators for their support and our employees for their consistent contribution to the business’ success. The macro-economic outlook remains volatile, but we are well positioned to deliver against the growth opportunities these markets offer, with a continued focus on margin resilience.”

Carl Cruz, Airtel Nigeria CEO: “The results of the year ended March 2023, place Airtel Africa in an optimistic footing, and Nigeria, being one of the most vibrant countries in the Group’s operations, is in a vantage position to capitalise on 5G technology, an energetic subscriber base, and the growing adoption of mobile money services, while we continue to promote the Group’s sustainability commitments.”

Know More 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 telecom 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.





Unity Bank Grows Gross Earnings To N27.5 Billion In H1’2023 



Mrs. Tomi Somefun, Managing Director of Unity Bank Plc.

Rashidat Okunlade Writes

Retail lender, Unity Bank Plc grew its deposits to N333.38 billion, representing a marginal increase of 2% compared to N327.42 billion recorded in H1’22 in its Half-Year unaudited financial statement submitted to the Nigeria Exchange Group Limited.

The growth in deposits demonstrates incremental gains by the lender from its commitment to deepening its retail footprint through a well-diversified banking product suite that caters to different segments of the retail market.

Other highlights of the unaudited financial statement include gross income and total assets which recorded N27.5 billion as against N27.4 billion and N512.1 billion from N510.1 billion respectively within the period under review. The net loans portfolio reduced significantly by 31% to N198.6 billion as of 30 June 2023 from N289.4 billion as at 31st December 2022. The Bank’s NPL Ratio remained moderate at below 3% while the liquidity ratio stood strong at over 45%.

However, the Bank’s profit for the period was impacted by foreign exchange revaluation on the back of Nigeria’s recent FX liberalization policy, resulting in a slide in our position.

Notwithstanding, the retail lender grew its FX trading income significantly by 17% to N239.8 million from N204.4 million in the corresponding period of 2022, underscoring the Bank’s strategic focus on diversifying and growing its earnings portfolio.

Similarly, fees and income commission also witnessed a 10% growth to N3.5 billion from N3.2 billion compared to the corresponding period of 2022, on the strength of the growing popularity of its digital banking platforms and customers’ acquisition in the retail space.

Commenting on the financial statements, the Managing Director/CEO of Unity Bank Plc, Mrs. Tomi Somefun noted that the significant disruptions that characterized the operating environment have impacted the positions of the Bank to the extent that we have constraints in income generation on the back of revaluation of the bank’s net foreign liabilities occasioned by the Naira devaluation during the period.

Mrs. Tomi stated: “In the light of the prevailing FX revaluation in the financial system, what we have is a market-driven impact which is adjustable and envisaged from the positive economic outcomes of the government policies in the near term. Be that as it may, the negative shareholders’ fund has improved considerably through the injection of N135billion which moderated the negative shareholders’ fund from (-ve) N275Billion in the December 2022 financial year-end to (-ve) N178Billion at the end of June 2023, after absorbing the FX revaluation loss suffered in Q2/2023. We are, however, focused on clear-cut plans to close out on our recapitalization programme very soon to enable us to do business as expected in the fast-growing markets in Nigeria”

She further stated that while we remain optimistic that the government’s policy initiatives will lead to correction in the market, the Bank has accelerated measures to ramp up asset creation and liability generation in the short and medium term. The Bank is aggressively driving its retail growth in every segment of the market, expanding strategic partnerships; and growing commercial banking business to develop new and sustainable income lines for the Bank as well as pay sufficient attention to fast-paced process automation, cost and resource efficiency, targeted value chain relationships, and product marketing to enhance value creation in the market.

Analysts are of the view that notwithstanding the market shocks currently being experienced, the Bank is still on course given the resilience it has demonstrated over time.

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Shell Plc Second Quarter 2023 Euro And GBP Equivalent Dividend Payments



Shell Starts Production At Vito In US Gulf Of Mexico

Rashidat Okunlade Writes

The Board of Shell plc today announced the pounds sterling and euro equivalent dividend payments in respect of the second quarter 2023 interim dividend, which was announced on July 27, 2023, at US$0.331 per ordinary share.

Shareholders have been able to elect to receive their dividends in US dollars, euros, or pounds sterling. Holders of ordinary shares who have validly submitted US dollars, euros, or pounds sterling currency elections by August 25, 2023, will be entitled to a dividend of US$0.331, €0.3046, or 26.12p per ordinary share, respectively.

Absent any valid election to the contrary, persons holding their ordinary shares through Euroclear Nederland will receive their dividends in euros at the euro rate per ordinary share shown above. Absent any valid election to the contrary, shareholders (both holding in certificated and uncertificated form (CREST members)) and persons holding their shares through the Shell Corporate Nominee will receive their dividends in pounds sterling, at the pound sterling rate per ordinary share shown above.

Euro and pounds sterling dividends payable in cash have been converted from US dollars based on an average of market exchange rates over the three dealing days from August 30 to September 1, 2023. This dividend will be payable on September 18, 2023, to those members whose names were on the Register of Members on August 11, 2023.


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Fidelity Bank Records Highest Earnings Per Share On NGX For H1 2023



Fidelity Bank records highest earnings per share on the NGX for H1 2023

Rashidat Okunlade Writes

For the second year running, leading financial institution, Fidelity Bank Plc, has emerged as the company with the highest earnings per share on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) based on half-year financial figures.

According to a report by BusinessDay, Fidelity Bank, Seplat Energy, Total Energies, Okomu oil, Presco, Dangote Cement, MTN Nigeria, BUA Foods, First City Monument Bank (FCMB) and Geregu Power emerged as the companies with the highest earnings per share within the review period.

Earnings per share (EPS) is a company’s net profit divided by the number of common shares it has outstanding.

It also indicates how much money a company makes for each share of its stock and is a widely used metric for estimating corporate value.

A higher EPS indicates greater value because investors will pay more for a company’s shares if they think the company has higher profits relative to its share price.
Fidelity Bank recorded an earnings per share of N184 in the first half of 2023 from N79 in the first half of 2022.

The shares outstanding stand at 32.01 million, with a price which stood at N7 and a traded volume of 32.15 million as of 12:59 p.m. on Friday.

The bank’s profit for the period stood at N53.3 billion in the first half of 2023 from N22.84 billion in the similar period of 2022.

Fidelity Bank’s cash and cash equivalents rose to N501.54 billion in the first half of 2023 from N276.07 in the first half of 2022.

It would be recalled that the bank’s shareholders recently approved a capital raising exercise via a Public Offer for up to 10 billion Ordinary Shares and Rights Issue of up to 3.2 billion Ordinary Shares representing one new share for every 10 shares held to new and existing shareholders respectively.

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