, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 3 – Safaricom’s share price now stands at Sh17.05, which is more than triple the IPO price of Sh5 it started with.
The company’s board of directors has therefore recommended a dividend payment of Sh25.64 billion, which will represent 80 percent of its net income and a 36 percent increase on 2014’s dividend.
“We believe that this is an affirmation of our superior capabilities to support our key stakeholders in their endeavor to improve the lives of our customers and the people of Kenya as a whole,” said Safaricom’s CEO Bob Collymore.
This is the largest dividend ever paid by a listed company in Kenya’s corporate history.
“Our commitment to continue transforming lives remains strong and with our strategy in place, we are confident that we shall continue creating value for our shareholders and customers,” he added.
Safaricom’s Chairman Nicholas Ng’ang’a took to the AGM to announce the company’s recent achievements. For instance, its total revenues increased by 13 percent, 27 percent increase on its non-voice services such as data and M-PESA.
“Voice services remain the largest earner in a competitive environment where we have seen players offer free voice services,” Ng’ang’a said.
This, he attributed to a loyal customer base who are attracted to its wide coverage, accessible airtime distribution and promotions among others.
This comes at the back of Safaricom being accused of exploiting its customers by being too expensive.
According to the CEO, the rates at which the company charges for its services are standard and even better when compared to a majority of other mobile operators on the continent.
“We have seen companies use models such as offering free voice calls and reduced data charges and at the end of the day they make losses and exit the sector. That will not be our strategy,” Collymore said.
He also stated that the company would not adopt similar models as those taken up by its competitors in order to protect itself against losing customers as it.
“We have seen growth in the number of our customers as they now stand at 23.3 million marking an 8 percent growth. We shall therefore continue with our business model that sees our customers receive quality services,” Collymore said.
Going forward, Safaricom is set to bring back The Big Box which it took off the market due to software issues it had been facing.
The Big Box, which is a digital decoder that also offers Internet bundles, is set for a re-launch soon with revised prices on its data bundles.