Airtel sets interim dividend exchange rate at N858/$

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Airtel Africa Plc has declared that shareholders will receive the interim dividend for the half-year ending September 2023 in Naira, pegged at an exchange rate of N858.24 per dollar. The announcement, disclosed in a corporate notice titled ‘Announcement of Interim Dividend Currency Exchange Rates,’ filed with the Nigerian Exchange Limited, specifies the payout of 2.38 US cents per ordinary share on December 15, 2023. Airtel Africa, listed on both the NGX and London Stock Exchange, offers shareholders the option to receive dividends in US dollars, GB pounds, or Nigerian Naira based on their preference.

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The exchange rates adopted are 1 USD = 858.24 Nigerian Naira and 1 USD = 0.8190 GB pounds. Airtel determined the exchange rates for Nigerian Naira or GB pounds payouts based on the Friday rates applicable to the US dollar. In its half-year report ending September 30, the company recorded a loss after tax of $13m, primarily due to a $471m foreign exchange loss in finance costs. 

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The Q1, 2023 report highlighted a loss after tax of $151m, driven by a $471m foreign exchange loss recorded in finance costs before tax and $317m after tax, attributed to the devaluation of the Nigerian Naira in June 2023—a non-operating exceptional item.

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Despite challenges, Airtel Africa reported robust performance, with revenue currency growing by 19.7% to $2.62bn. Although reported currency revenue growth was impacted by Nigeria’s currency devaluation, all segments achieved double-digit revenue growth. 

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Mobile services revenue increased by 18.3%, driven by voice revenue growth of 11.5% and data revenue growth of 28.1%. Mobile money revenue experienced significant growth at 30.9%. EBITDA increased by 21.2%, reaching $1.30bn, with an EBITDA margin of 49.6%, showcasing a 70bps margin improvement over the prior period despite inflationary cost pressures and foreign exchange headwinds.

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