(Sharecast News) – Telecommunications and mobile money services firm Airtel Africa posted a rise in first-quarter revenue on Thursday, but profits fell as it was hit by a foreign exchange loss.
Revenue grew 20.4% at constant currency to $1.4bn and operating profit rose to $462m from $425m, but the company made a loss after tax of $151m versus a profit $178m a year earlier. Airtel said this was driven largely by a foreign exchange loss of $471m because of the devaluation of the Nigerian naira in the month of June.
While each segment’s reported currency revenue growth was impacted by currency devaluation, they all delivered double-digit constant currency revenue growth. Mobile service revenue grew by 19.1% at constant currency, driven by voice revenue growth of 11.9% and data revenue growth of 29.8%, while mobile money revenue rose 31.2%.
Chief executive Olusegun Ogunsanya said: “Despite the strong operating performance, our results have been impacted by foreign exchange headwinds. This quarter saw the announcement of the change to the FX market in Nigeria which resulted in a significant naira devaluation.
“We have welcomed this reform as very positive for the medium and long-term development of our business in Nigeria, our largest market. The country offers significant untapped growth potential, underpinned by highly attractive fundamentals. This has supported and sustained a strong operating performance which has seen a five-year revenue and EBITDA compound annual growth rate of 23.5% and 27.3% in constant currency, respectively.”