These are the largest public traded companies in Nigeria (by market cap) in order – Dangote Cement, MTN, Airtel, and Unilever. Technically, they are also the largest companies in Nigeria by valuation (I am not sure there are private ones larger than these four). MTN and Airtel have found themselves ahead of Unilever. Meanwhile, Airtel Nigeria continues to anchor Airtel Africa business which posted $132.2 net profit last quarter. When Interswitch gets in the game, it will move some places in the ranking.
Bharti Airtel’s Africa arm posted net profit of $132.2 million in the June quarter, a fall of 12.2% from the corresponding quarter of the previous year, as higher finance costs and lower gains on exceptional items offset its growth in operating profit.
It posted revenue of $795.9 million, up 6.9% year-on-year from $744.5 million, largely driven by double-digit growth in Nigeria and East Africa, but partially offset by a decline in revenue in the rest of Africa, the company said.
The revenue increase is significant for the African arm of Bharti Airtel, which battles a bruising tariff war with rival Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd at home.
Airtel Africa’s customer base stands at 99.7 million. Its average revenue per user (Arpu) was $2.7 in the June quarter.
The key data there is the ARPU which is now $2.7. Last year, it was $3 for Airtel Africa.
Yet, even though Airtel Africa made a full year profit, challenges lie ahead. Just as I have noted on MTN Nigeria which had seen its ARPU (average revenue per user) dropped from $22 (in 2005) to $4.14 in Q1 2018, Airtel Africa is even doing worse: $3 in 2017. Airtel does not break its African operation by countries; so we do not have Airtel specific Nigerian number. (9Mobile and Glo are private companies; you do not expect to know anything about their financials.)