Airtel Africa eyes $100 million share buyback after 9.1% customer surge

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February 1, 2024
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2 min read
Airtel Africa

The news: 

  • Airtel Africa Board has announced that it intends to launch a $100 million share buy-back programme. 
  • According to the press release seen by Techpoint Africa, which showed results for nine months ending on December 31, 2023, the buyback programme will begin in early March 2024 and run for over a year. 
  • Olusegun Ogunsanya, CEO of Airtel Group, explained that the decision to buy back shares was made possible by the company's recent impressive operating performance, which provided it with the necessary leverage. 

A share buyback occurs when a company pays its shareholders to buy back their shares and cancel them, thereby reducing its share capital. 

With fewer Airtel shares in circulation, the remaining shareholders gain a higher stake in the company and a higher return on future dividends, giving Airtel more control over its destiny.

Ogunsanya expressed confidence in the company's ability to continue delivering on the attractive growth opportunities in the telco markets. 

He assured that, while the company faces numerous challenges in some markets, such as rising diesel costs, ongoing currency devaluation, and inflationary pressures, it will remain focused on maximising margin resilience. 

While further currency devaluation, specifically in Nigeria, has dampened the company’s reported financial performance, it won’t in any way derail the execution of its growth plans.

“We remain focused on the execution of our growth strategy and, combined with our strong operational execution, this has ensured that we continue to see sustained, positive growth momentum across the business despite the inflationary and currency headwinds. 

Airtel reports that its overall customer base across all markets grew by 9.1% to reach 151.2 million. Its mobile data and mobile money services have consistently grown, with data subscribers increasing to 62.7 million (22.4% growth) and mobile money to 37.5 million (19.5% growth). 

The company reports that its voice, data, and mobile money services generated 20.2% constant currency revenue growth across the region. Its annual mobile money transactions were valued at $116bn, a 41.3%

The company also stated that it intends to fully repay its HoldCo debt of $550 million when it comes due in May 2024. 

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