Safaricom has posted Sh73.6 billion profit after tax for the period ended March 31.
The company’s annual earnings jumped 13.3 per cent before interest and taxation to Sh101.5 billion.
During the period under review, mobile data revenue increased to Sh40.67 billion, M-pesa grew by 12.6 per cent to Sh84.44 billion. Voice and messaging services revenues, however, declined to Sh94.45 billion and Sh 17.19 billion respectively.
The telco’s one-month overall customer base increased by 9.5 per cent to 28.6 million while the one-month active M-pesa customers increased 10.0 per cent to 24.91 million.
Safaricom new Chief Executive Officer Peter Ndegwa was unable to offer earnings guidance for the 2020/21 financial year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
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“The COVID-19 pandemic presents an opportunity for Safaricom to leverage its digital and data capability to support customers and community during this period and through the recovery process.
We will focus on developing a range of digital products and services that will provide sustainable solutions to challenges in sectors like agriculture, health, education and essential services,” said Peter Ndegwa.
“Whilst Financial Year 21 is going to be a challenging one, I feel like a business we are well placed to navigate our way through the uncertainty that lies ahead.,” he added.
The outgoing CEO Michael Joseph said his aim when he took over last year was to ensure the organisation focused more on the customer, regaining both trust and market share.
“We have stayed the course, given customers more value, and put the consumer first by delivering relevant products and services. As a result, the business has delivered exceptionally well, outperforming the guidance, in the process generating solid returns to our shareholders,” he noted.
In a statement, the company announced plans to launch a Sh20 a day 4G smartphone package aimed at empowering customers currently on 2G devices to upgrade and enjoy high-speed internet connectivity.
The package is in partnership with Google and is based on insights and learnings from the Maisha Ni Digital campaign that saw over one million customers acquiring 4G enabled devices. The new campaign seeks to empower an extra one million customers to upgrade to 4G enabled devices in this financial year.
Ndegwa noted that smartphone device is critical in supporting the new realities brought about by COVID-19. “This proposition aims to support Kenyans during and beyond this pandemic by enabling them access more opportunities, be it learning, working or running businesses from the comfort of their homes,” he said.
In Kenya, approximately 60per cent of the mobile phone install base is still on 2G feature phones and 40 per cent smartphones with key barriers to people coming online being device and data affordability.
“We believe that this collaboration with Safaricom will bring more Kenyans access and the means to partake in the opportunities that exist online,” Mariama Abdullahi, Director, Android and Platforms Partnerships for Africa said.