, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 12 – Safaricom has recorded a Sh23 billion net profit in the full year ended March 31, 2014 marking a 31 percent increase from the previous year’s Sh17.5 billion.
This comes as the Communication Authority of Kenya renewed the company’s license as gazetted on Friday.
The profits were driven by growth in non-voice service revenue that include Short Message Service (SMS), broadband and M-PESA that increased by 28 percent to Sh52.1 billion.
MPESA revenue increased by 22 percent to Sh26.6 billion as 30 day active M-PESA customers increased by 15 percent to 12.2 million customers representing a 56 percent of their total customers.
Mobile data revenue increased by 41 percent to Sh9.3 billion with a 34 percent rise in 30 day active mobile data customers to 9.6 million which represent 44 percent of their customers.
Growth in service revenue hit Sh138.4 billion from Sh118.1 billion posted in 2012 with voice revenue going up by 12 percent to Sh86.billion.
“The full year results demonstrate our continued strong commercial and financial performance across our service portfolio, we are committed to our ‘Best Network in Kenya’ initiative through continued investment in our network and services “Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore said while commenting on the results.
Total revenue increased by 16 percent to Sh144.7 billion.
Collymore says following the performance, the company’s shareholders will receive 47 cents per share dividend payout from 31 cents last year representing a 52 percent increase.
Collymore announced 34 percent growth in SMS revenue to Sh13.6 billion from Sh10 billion recorded same period in 2012, while customer base revenue grew by 11 percent to 21.6 million.
However, operating costs grew by 13 percent during the period from Sh28.2 billion to Sh31.7 billion as the company explores further cost reduction initiatives focused on transmission costs, network operating costs and Information Technology (IT) operational costs.
“Our direct costs increased by 10 percent at a lower rate than the 16 percent growth in revenue, this is turn an improvement in the contribution margin to 64 percent,” Collymore said.
The company’s strategy for the year is to grow the number of active merchants to use M-PESA as the most preferred electronic payment platform.
“We are focused on accelerating our fibre to building fixed calling, cloud services and managed services, we will endeavour to continue increasing smartphone and 3G devices penetration through partnership with vendors to offer quality and cost effective devices.
The company says it’s now ready to roll out 4G network subject to availability of spectrum.