In Malawi, Airtel has indicated that it will continue to invest in its Malawian mobile phone unit despite currency weakness in the country.
According to the telecom operator’s mid-year report, costs for Airtel Malawi increased by 199 per cent due to a 25 per cent devaluation in the Malawian Kwacha. After-tax profits declined by 21.5 per cent, which the company attributed to a worsening foreign exchange position as a direct result of devaluation.
A recent statement released by Airtel Malawi reads, “The economy and company are exposed to continued impact of Kwacha depreciation and scarcity of foreign currency. Despite this, we continue to focus on investing more, growing more customers and revenue, containing cost and diversifying currency sourcing to mitigate the exposures.”
Airtel Malawi has managed to grow its customer base by 11.1 per cent to 6.4 million subscribers, despite these challenges.
According to media reports, revenue in local currency terms was stronger by 14.3 per cent, boosted by a 20 per cent firming in voice revenue and a further 5 per cent quickening in data revenue.
During the period under review, the company repaid a debt amount of US$7 million out of its US$40 million loan.
Press Corporation said it had registered a 168 per cent decline in profit after tax from its telecommunications operations -TNM and fixed phone operator MTL – during the same half-year period ending in June.
It said the losses were worsened by the devaluation of the local currency, resulting in exchange losses.