, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 7 – Safaricom has recorded a 38 percent increase in profit after tax in full year results released by the company on Thursday.
Much of the growth from Sh23 billion to Sh31.9 has been attributed to non voice services.
Chief Executive Officer Bob Collymore revealed that the total revenue increased 13 percent to Sh163.4 billion, with the mobile giant’s customer base growing eight per cent to Sh23.3 million.
“Service revenue growth of 13 percent to Sh156.2billion of which voice service revenue grew by four percent to Sh87.4billion and non-voice service revenue increased by 27 percent to Sh68.8billion.Customer base grew by 8 percent to 23.3million,” he stated.
He explained that non-voice revenue which mainly includes income from data and the M-Pesa mobile money service grew 27 percent to Sh68.8 billion, accounting for 42 percent of total revenue.
Voice income, meanwhile, was only up four per cent to Sh87.4 billion.
M-Pesa contributed 20 percent of total revenue while mobile data revenue grew at an impressive 59 percent, driven by an increased uptake of affordable data bundles and a 21 per cent growth in 30-day active data customers to 11.6 million.
“M-Pesa, now contributing 20 percent of total revenue, continues to be a significant driving factor in our growth. This was driven by a 14 percent increase in 30 day active M-Pesa customers to 13.9million as well as an increase in the average number of transactions per customer,” he stated.
He pointed out that the company has expanded its M-Pesa agent outlets to 85,756 thereby promoting accessibility of the service to customers.
“Since its launch, the Lipa na M-Pesa service has enabled cashless merchant payments and facilitated trade between businesses and their customers while improving business efficiency. In March 2015 the service had 49,413 merchants active on a 30 day basis, who received Sh11.6billion of payments,” he said.
In the released results, free cash flow increased by 21 percent to Sh27.5billion as a result of the strong trading results and positive working capital movements.
The board further recommended a dividend of Sh0.64 per share.
“In light of the strong financial performance in the past year, the Board recommends a dividend of sh0.64 per share – an increase of 36 percent. Pending approval by shareholders we will pay out a dividend of Sh25.64billion, which represents 80 percent of our net income, for the year ended 31 March 2015; once again, the largest dividend in Kenyan history,” a statement from the company said.
Collymore’s term in office has also been extended by two years from August this year.