Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa has admitted that the giant telco is experiencing a slowed growth, two years since he took over.
In an interview with a local daily, Ndegwa said that Safaricom core business, which entails voice calls, was slowing down, leaving hope for expansion on home internet.
“Growth has been slowing down, our core connectivity business especially voice was slowing down. Connectivity will continue to be an important business, especially mobile data, and fixed data at home. We are still at about 20 to 25 percent penetration of homes; so, we still have 800,000 homes to go after. For mobile Internet, 4G penetration is a quarter and three-quarters of Kenyans do not have a 4G handset,” said Ndegwa.
According to Ndegwa, the company, which runs the country’s biggest mobile money service (M-Pesa), is banking on other venture to keep growing, rather than focusing on its core business alone.
“We have a rich pipeline. First of all, we have the Halal Pesa, a partnership with Gulf Bank to offer credit that is Halal. We have launched the eVisa in partnership with Visa Card, which allows Kenyans to purchase products off the internet from abroad. We are going to be launching a junior account soon. There are also quite a few other products, on the wealth management side that are at different stages in terms of approvals. We intend to get almost 300 mini apps on the super app so it becomes a full marketplace,” he added.
Safaricom posted a 1.7 percent drop in net profit to Ksh67.49 billion in the first results that include its Ethiopian operations.
The telco’s net profit for the full year ended March 2022 is the second drop in a row after it posted a 6.8 percent profit retreat last year to Ksh68.67 billion, which was the first in nine years.