Airtel Africa has registered a net profit of Ksh. 21 billion ($192 million) in the fiscal second quarter, which more than doubled compared to a similar period in 2021 and rose over 35% sequentially.

The profit growth has been attributed to a sharp reduction in finance costs coupled with strong growth in data and mobile money revenues.

Similarly, revenue for the quarter to September rose 20% compared to a similar period last year, and 4.31% sequentially to Ksh. 129 billion ($1.16 billion).

The company’s profit for the first half ended September 2021 more than doubled to Ksh. 37 billion ($335 million), while revenue for the same period rose 25% YoY to Ksh. 252 billion ($2.27 billion).

“Our first-half financial performance has been strong. The first half of last year, and especially Q1, was impacted by the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but even after adjusting for these effects, our revenue growth rates for the half-year for the Group and all our service segments are ahead of our FY’21 revenue growth trends, and in reported terms, these are all in strong double-digit,” Segun Ogunsanya, Airtel Africa’s recently appointed new chief executive officer, said in a statement.

Net finance cost in the July-September quarter fell 23% on-year and nearly 27% sequentially to Ksh. 7.8 billion ($71 million).

Customer base also grew by 5.4% to 122.7 million, with increased penetration across mobile data and mobile money services (customer base up 19.0%. Customer base growth was affected by the new NIN/SIM registration regulations in Nigeria; excluding Nigeria the customer base grew by 13.7%.

The Airtel Board has also declared an interim dividend of 2 cents per share (1.5 cents in H1’21) in line with an upgraded dividend policy. The new policy aims to grow the dividend annually by a mid to high-single digit percentage from a new base of 5 cents per share for FY 2022.