Airtel Africa to pay N276 billion total dividend for 2023, chooses N1,485.99 as exchange rate for final dividend  

Airtel Africa has selected N1485.99/$ as the exchange rate for its 2023 final dividend.

Earlier in the year, the group announced a final dividend of 3.57 US Cents per share for FY 2023/2024.  

At this exchange rate, Airtel’s final dividend in Naira is about N53.05 per share, representing a dividend yield of 2%. 

According to a corporate notice by the group, Airtel Africa will pay its dividend on July 26, 2024, to shareholders whose names appear on the register at the close of business on June 21, 2024.  

Airtel to pay N276 billion total dividends for FY 2023

Despite posting a net loss of $89 million for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2024, Airtel Africa will pay a total dividend of N276 billion ($224 million).  

The group had earlier paid an interim dividend of 2.38 US Cents per share at an exchange rate of N858.24/$ in December 2023. Airtel’s interim dividend payment amounted to N76.8 billion.  

The group’s final dividend payment of 3.57 US Cents per share at an exchange rate of N1485.99/$ will amount to N199.4 billion, thus resulting in a total dividends payment of N276 billion.  

Airtel’s total dividend of 5.95 US Cents per share marks a 9% increase from the 5.45 US Cents per share total dividend distributed in the previous fiscal terms. In Naira terms, 2023/2024’s total dividend distribution marks a 130% increase from the N120.1 billion distributed for FY 2022/2023.  

Recall that Airtel Africa paid an interim dividend of 2.18 US Cents per share, at an exchange rate of N446.1/$ in November 2022. The group then paid a final dividend of 3.27 US Cents per share at an exchange rate of N680.2/$ in May 2023.  

Airtel’s dividends payment is coming irrespective of an $89 million net loss incurred during the fiscal year.

Even the group is currently in the first phase of a $100 million share buyback programme, that is due to end in August 2024. 

The group has bought back about £17.83 million worth of shares, representing about 17,086,055 million shares. The first phase of the buyback is currently being conducted on the London Stock Exchange, with Citigroup Global Markets serving as the agent. 

It is yet unknown if the group will carry out the second phase of the buyback on the NGX.  

The fiscal year ending March 31, 2024, was impressive for Airtel Africa in operating margins. Despite a slight 6.7% decline in its operating profit to $1.64 billion from $1.76 billion as of the previous fiscal year, the group’s operating margin was kept at 32.9%, a marginal decline from 33.4% in the previous year. 

The group incurred a capital expenditure of $737 million during the fiscal year, a 1.4% decline from $748 million in the previous fiscal year.

The capital expenditure was largely driven by a $152 million expenditure on license renewal and spectrum acquisitions. 

Airtel recently announced the repayment of a $550 million bond by one of its subsidiaries. Coupled with its ongoing share buyback programme, as well as a dividend payment of $224 million, Airtel will spend quite a significant amount of capital in the current fiscal year.  

However, the company in its notice on May 20, 2024, highlighted its capital allocation strategy.  

The current leverage and capital structure are a reflection of the Group’s successful capital allocation strategy that has been in place since our IPO, and it will aim to continue reducing foreign currency debt obligations across its OpCo’s. 

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