Airtel Africa Plc has disclosed its plan to issue interim dividends for the half-year ending September 2023 in Naira to shareholders, with the exchange rate set at N858.24 per dollar. The company’s official announcement, titled ‘Announcement of Interim Dividend Currency Exchange Rates,’ was submitted to the Nigerian Exchange Limited on Tuesday.
Airtel Africa, listed on both the NGX and the London Stock Exchange, will distribute an interim dividend of 2.38 US cents per ordinary share on December 15, 2023, to eligible shareholders. The dividend can be received in US dollars, GB pounds, or Nigerian Naira, depending on the preference of the shareholders.
The specified exchange rates are 1 USD = 858.24 Nigerian Naira and 1 USD = 0.8190 GB pounds. Airtel Africa clarified that the exchange rates for Nigerian Naira or GB pounds were determined based on the Friday rates applicable to the US dollar.
In its half-year report ending September 30, the group recorded a loss after tax of $13 million, primarily attributed to a $471 million foreign exchange loss in finance costs. The Q1, 2023 report showed a loss after tax of $151 million, driven by a $471 million foreign exchange loss recorded in finance costs before tax and $317 million after tax, due to the devaluation of the Nigerian Naira in June 2023. This impact has been classified as a non-operating exceptional item.
Despite challenges, Airtel Africa reported robust financials. Revenue currency grew by 19.7%, reaching $2.62 billion, while reported currency revenue growth was affected by Nigeria’s currency devaluation. All segments demonstrated double-digit revenue growth. Mobile services revenue increased by 18.3%, driven by a voice revenue growth of 11.5% and data revenue growth of 28.1%. Mobile money revenue saw a substantial growth of 30.9%. EBITDA increased by 21.2% and 3.7% in reported currency, totaling $1.30 billion, with an EBITDA margin of 49.6%, reflecting a 70bps margin improvement over the prior period, despite inflationary cost pressures and foreign exchange headwinds.