, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 2 – Safaricom is betting big on M-PESA going forward as the telco announced that it made Sh31 billion net profit in the half-year that ended September 30, 3018 representing a 20.2 percent increase compared to previous year.
During the half year under review, M-PESA was the main driver of growth for the period accounting for nearly two-thirds of the 7.7 percentage point increase and growing 18.2 percent on a year-to-year to Sh31.5 billion.
The profits came on the back of increasing revenue rising to Sh118.2 billion with Chief Executive Bob Collymore saying the firm has partnered with Western Union to enable customers to send money anywhere in the world via M-PESA.
M-PESA now accounts for 30 percent of total service revenue, up 3 percentage points Year-on-Year.
“I’m pleased with the progress we made on a number of fronts in the first half of the year. We achieved solid results driven by strong M-PESA gains, further diversification of our revenue mix to tap into new growth areas and investment in new revenue streams, which contributed to a double-digit increase in Earnings Per Share (EPS), and free cash flow,” Collymore said.
Collymore also announced that the firm has spent the last month piloting an overdraft facility on M-PESA called Fuliza which will allow customers to complete their Buy Goods, Paybill and Send Money transactions even when they have insufficient funds.
Voice service revenue grew by 1.4 percent to Sh48.03 billion, mobile data revenue increased by 10.8 percent to Sh19.45 billion while fixed service revenue increased by 21 percent to Sh3.91 billion.
However, messaging revenue declined by 1.2 percent to Sh8.81 billion even as Customer numbers increased by 1.5 percent to 29.94 million.
“Looking ahead, Safaricom is well positioned to sustain growth through continued investment in priority areas such as our E-Commerce platform, Masoko, regional expansion of M-PESA, Digifarm and Home and Enterprise solutions,” he added.
The company invested Sh17 billion in the first half of the year driven by increased network rollout and acceleration of broadband and fibre deployment.