Nigeria remains the major driver of Airtel Africa’s earnings growth, leveraging on a bourgeoning population that craves for data usage even amid a volatile period.
Nigeria accounts for 40.12 percent of Airtel Africa’s overall revenue and 43.10 percent of voice data revenue as at March 2020, thanks to expansion in customer base as a result of efficient sales and distribution network supported by accelerated roll out of 4G network.
Peers across Africa are playing catch up as East Africa and Francophone regions make up 35.09 percent and 25.10 percent of Group revenue.
There are immense opportunities to benefit from the push in data service as Nigeria remains a market where voice and text are the primary revenue drivers.
The explosion of mobile phones and internet users means the country remains an allure to mobile operators despite a volatile regulatory environment.
GSMA, the world trade body of mobile operators, predicts that 38 percent of people in Sub Sahara Africa will have access to mobile internet by 2020, up from 26 percent as at 2016.
Analysts at CSL Stock Brokers Limited believe the outbreak of COVID-19 which has disrupted activities, leading to shutdown of offices, factories, schools and social gatherings will result in increased data and voice consumption in the short term as people increasingly communicate remotely and seek entertainment during the lockdown.
What this means is that Airtel Nigeria will get a boost from the outbreak of the virus, and a favourable demographics will help add impetus to future earnings.