NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 4 – Mobile telecommunications company, Safaricom has made a net profit of Sh23.9 billion in six months ending September 30th 2016, buoyed by a strong performance from M-PESA and mobile data products.
The profit marks a 32 percent jump from the Sh18 billion Safaricom made last year, from a revenue of Sh98 billion.
Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore said the revenue is a reflection of the company’s strategic focus on improving customer experience, providing relevant products and enhancing operational excellence.
“The big drivers were M-PESA and data. We have invested a lot of money in the last couple of years. Just in the last year, we set up 1000 4G base stations and the uplift you get on 4G from a mobile handset is significant,” said Collymore.
Safaricom spent 18.9 billion on capital expenditure including ramping up its 2G, 3G and 4G stations to increase network coverage and capacity.
M-PESA revenue grew by 33.7 percent to Sh25.9 billion while mobile data revenue grew at 46 percent to Sh13.4 billion, to sail the mobile telco to new profit heights.
Active M-PESA monthly users stood at 17.6 million in the period under review, making transactions of 9.3 million per month. In total, the M-PESA ecosystem handled 3.2 trillion shillings in six months.
“Our cashless platform, Lipa na M-Pesa, has been well received among enterprises. We had over 50,000 merchants who were active on a 30 day basis as at end fo September 2016,” said a statement from the company.
Appetite for data continued to rise with Safaricom registering saw the highest growth
“We introduced ‘My Data Manager’ functionality which gives customers control to in-bundle browsing. 3 million Kenyans have downloaded the app resulting in a 16 percent saving per user, though bundle users has grown by 38 percent to 7.4 million,” said Collymore.
Meanwhile, growth in voice and messaging continued to be subdued at 1.1 percent and 8.1 percent respectively. For the first time, non-voice revenue contributed over half of the company’s revenue at 52.3 percent.
In the same period, free cash flow grew to Sh20 billion, a 111 percent, on improved trading results and completion of the National Police Security Network Project.