Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa during the release of the company's 2019 Full Year results.
Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa during the release of the company's 2019 Full Year results.

Kenya’s largest telco operator by market share Safaricom has posted a 19.5% increase in net profit for the full year ended March 2020 to Ksh74.7 billion compared to the Ksh63.5 billion it posted at a similar period the previous year.

The growth of the revenue was largely driven by a strong performance by M-PESA which generated Ksh84.4 billion which is equal to 33.6% of Safaricom’s total service revenue which stood at Ksh251.2 billion.

Revenues were however offset by the demise of the b*****g industry but the company said it had anticipated the development.

According to Chief Financial Officer Sateesh Kamath who spoke in a broadcasted conference, revenues generated from mobile data stood at Ksh40.7 billion accounting for 16.2% of the telco’s service revenues.

Voice calls raked in Ksh94.4 billion for the company which accounted for 34.5% of the total service revenue. The company’s messaging revenue however declined by 12.3 percent to Ksh17.17 billion.

Service revenue grew by 4.8% to Ksh251.2 billion against the Ksh239.8 reported the previous year while earnings before tax grew by 13.5% to Ksh101.5 billion from Ksh89 billion.

“New business accounted for more than 50% of the company’s overall growth growing at 43% year on year,” said Kamath.

The company has announced a dividend of Ksh1.40 per share with the company saying its unable to provide shareholders and analysts with forecasts for the next financial year due to uncertainity precipitated by the shocks of the COVID-19 P******c.

“We are operating in unprecedented times and we are therefore unable to offer guidance on the next financial year,” Ndegwa said during the conference.

Former CEO and board member Michael Joseph gave an update on the proposed entry into the under-served Ethiopian market saying the company has already submitted its proposals and it is waiting on the final decision by the country’s government.

“We expect them (Ethiopian government) to make a decision later this year,” said Mr Joseph.

Joseph also hinted at plans to expand into other African markets linking the recent decision to re-acquire the M-PESA brand to plans to grow its M-PESA business outside Kenya.

“The acquisition will enhance expansion into other African markets and allow us to roll out more services at a cheaper cost,” said Mr Joseph.

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