Airtel Malawi plcprofits have hit unprecedented K22 billion at the time Malawians are complaining of high data bundles as well as high airtime costs.
This is a 28 % increase from K15. 9 billion posted in 2019.
The company’s financial statement shows strong revenue growth recorded at K110 billion from K92 billion, attributable to 46 per cent data usage, as most people worked from home at the peak of the pandemic.
Co-signed by Alex Chitsime and Charles Kamoto the board Chairperson and Managing Director respectively, the Airtel board admits that the telecom business has emerged as a key and essential service supporting the economy during the pandemic.
In his analysis ICT specialist and President for ICT Association of Malawi (ICTAM) Bram Fudzulani describes the results as a vindication that ICT services have relevant economic value that can accelerate economic development of the country.
Meanwhile, Airtel Malawi plc shareholders have dragged the company to court, seeking that it be de-listed from the Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE), accusing the compnat of concealing to prospective investors information about a K5.7 billion court case when it was being listed on the stock market in 2019.
Claimants Frank Harawa and Chandrakant Makadia, in Commercial Case Number 83 of 2021, through lawyer Burton Mhango, contend that the concealment, including botched profit forecast, deprived them and other potential investors a fair and reasonable opportunity to assess the potential loss that the company could suffer and clear reflection of its liabilities if found liable in the said pending litigation.
Apart from Airtel Malawi plc, the other defendants are Plastone Alex Chitsime, Charles Mustafa Kamoto, Alok Bafna, Ian Ferrao, Neelesh Pratap Singh and Kayisi M’bwana Sadala.
They state that they proceeded to acquire shares and to make investments in the company and feel the directors breached their fiduciary duty to act reasonably in the circumstances and to disclose details of any pending litigation as required by law.
The case in question, currently in the Supreme Court of Appeal, relates to a K5.7 billion demand by the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) from Airtel Malawi as non-resident tax, dating to 2012.
Besides, the claimants argue that a financial statement on December 20 2019 provided in the prospectus indicated a profit forecast of K18.088 billion for the year-ending December 2019, but by the 31st of that month, it showed a profit of K15.908 billion, which is 12.05 percent lower that the profit forecast.
Airtel Malawi public relations manager Norah Chavula on Thursday acknowledged the company’s receipt of the court summons, but refused to comment on the matter “as per the sub judice rule.”
Lawyer Mhango said they served Airtel Malawi plc “orginal summons” on March 11 2021 and the “amended summons” was also delivered on March 29 on their lawyers Racane Associates.
Airtel Malawi plc was listed in February 2020.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :