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TOP NEWS: Airtel Africa profit falls amid currency devaluation hits

11th May 2023 09:11

(Alliance News) - Airtel Africa PLC on Thursday reported a fall in annual profit as net finance costs ballooned due to the devaluation of some African currencies.

The London-based, Africa-focused telecommunications company said pretax profit in financial year 2023 that ended on March 31 fell 16% to USD1.03 billion from USD1.22 billion a year prior. Revenue grew by 12% to USD5.26 billion from USD4.71 billion.

However, net finance costs increased 79% to USD723 million from USD403 million. The company reported higher foreign exchange and derivative losses of USD245 million, and a hit of USD82 million from devaluations of the Nigerian naira. It also reported a USD96 million hit from the devaluation of and Kenyan and Ugandan shillings and Malawian and Zambian kwachas.

Expenses rose 12% to USD2.69 billion from USD2.41 billion.

The company recommended a final dividend of 3.27 US cents, up 9.0% from 3 US cents a year ago. The total dividend is 5.45 US cents, up 9.0% from 5 US cents.

Looking ahead, Airtel Africa cited long-term attractive opportunities despite currency devaluation, which it aims to mitigate.

Airtel Africa shares were 4.5% lower at 112.75 pence each in London, one of the worst FTSE 100 performers on Thursday morning.

By Tom Budszus, Alliance News reporter

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