Safaricom half year profit recorded a rebound for the six months to 30th September 2023 with the Kenyan business hitting a double-digit growth in net income to close at Ksh41.6 billion, a 10.9% increase.
Overall, the group net income, excluding minority interest, recorded a positive net income growth at 2.1% to Ksh34.2 billion, up from a 10.6% decline in the previous period, while the group service revenue grew by 10%.
The strong performance comes on the backdrop of a price reduction in Kenya business allowing customers to do more for less. Since 2020, Safaricom has progressively reduced up to 65% in data prices, 44% in outgoing calls per minute and up to 61% reduction in M-PESA tariff.
The growth has also been supported by a purposeful execution of the business strategy that included the launch of youth specific product, Safaricom Hook, and accelerated 5G roll out.
“We have delivered a great set of results largely by supporting our customers with enhanced value and reduced prices on our products and services,” Mr Peter Ndegwa, Safaricom CEO, says. “We appreciate that everyone is going through a hard time and are committed as a business to support our customer’s cope. The reduced prices have seen our customers use more of our services hence the double-digit growth in profitability and revenue.”
Ethiopia operations hit major milestones, boosted by an accelerated commercial momentum including M-PESA rollout, which has seen the company register over 1.2 million customers on the platform in less than two months. “This confirms what we have been saying about Ethiopia in terms of how it will significantly support our growth into the future. We are looking to maintain this momentum in the second half of the year,” he said.
With only 35% of Ethiopians being financially included, Safaricom’s strategic vision is to deepen financial inclusion and promote a cash-lite economy in Ethiopia. “We see more opportunities with M-PESA and mobile data, though coming off a small base. We are particularly impressed with the usage levels in mobile data. Such levels were only realized in Kenya after close to 10 years of operations,” Mr Ndegwa said.
In the month of September, Ethiopia data usage was higher than Kenya, having closed at 4.3 gigabytes per customer compared to 3.7 for Kenya.
KEY HIGHLIGHTS- SAFARICOM GROUP (INCLUDING ETHIOPIA)
Service revenue: +9.3%YoY to KES158.3billion
EBIT(Kenya): +14.9% YoY
CAPEX: 11.5% YoY
Voice & Messaging revenue: -1.9%YoY
M-PESA revenue: +16.5%
Mobile data revenue: +12.5%YoY
Fixed data: +9.1%YoY
Safaricom Group excluding Minority Interest: +2.1% YoY to KES 34.2billion
Safaricom Plc Kenya: +10.9% YoY