Airtel Africa Plc, in its second-quarter report filed with the Nigerian Exchange Limited, disclosed a loss of $151 million attributed to the harmonization of foreign exchange rates in Nigeria.
The telecom company cited a significant foreign exchange loss of $471 million recorded in finance cost before tax and $317 million after tax, primarily driven by the devaluation of the Nigerian currency in June 2023. Airtel classified this impact as a non-operating exceptional item.
In June, the Central Bank of Nigeria took a major step to improve liquidity and stability in the forex market and attract foreign investors into the Nigerian economy.
The apex bank unified all segments of the Nigerian forex market into the Investors & Exporters (I&E) window, streamlining the foreign exchange rates.
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As a result of the forex harmonization, Airtel Africa experienced a substantial financial setback, contributing to the negative profit after tax for the second quarter.
Despite the financial challenges, Airtel showcased growth in its total customer base, which increased by 8.8 percent to 143.1 million.
The rise in mobile data and mobile money services usage led to a remarkable 22.0 percent increase in data customers, reaching 56.8 million, and a notable 24.3 percent increase in mobile money customers, totaling 34.3 million.