Safaricom surpasses market expectations, reports over $1bn in earnings

Safaricom has announced that it earned KSh 139.9 billion ($1.07 billion) before interest and tax in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2024.

The Kenyan telco reported that the earnings exceeded market expectations and the group’s guidance range of KSh 129 billion ($974 million) to KSh 132 billion ($996 million).

Safaricom identified customer segmentation, public sector digitisation, and investments in new technologies as key performance drivers.

Safaricom’s revenue rose 13.4% to KSh 335.3 billion ($2.5 billion), with M-PESA, its mobile money product, accounting for 42.4% at KSh 140 billion and GSM accounting for 52.7% at KSh 173.9 billion (more than $1 billion).

Meanwhile, it had experienced outages twice in January 2024 and July 2023, affecting M-Pesa’s key functionalities at the time.

The Group’s net income, excluding minority interests, increased by 1.2%, while Safaricom Kenya’s net income increased by 13.7%. Safaricom announced in August 2023 that it will increase M-Pesa account and daily transaction limits for its customers, thereby supporting Kenyan SMEs.

Safaricom doubled its active customer base in Ethiopia, reaching 4.4 million. The CEO stated that it now has a network nearly half the size of Kenya’s and that its performance in the region is on track to meet its licence obligations.

“We are hence pleased with commercial momentum in Ethiopia and proud that we have been able to deliver this momentum with a Safaricom Ethiopia team that is 90% Ethiopians,” the CEO said.

The telco, launched in Ethiopia in 2022, obtained a Payment Instrument Issuer Licence from the National Bank of Ethiopia and rolled out its mobile money service, M-PESA, in 2023.

Further, Ndegwa stated, “We are extremely pleased with what we have been able to achieve as a group despite the significant startup costs in our Ethiopia business. We expect that from 2025, Ethiopia will start being a significant growth contributor at group level for both top and bottom line.”

Furthermore, the CEO stated that investing in new technologies allowed for greater efficiencies and better customer engagement and that this decision was guided by the vision of becoming a purpose-led technology company.

In December 2023, Safaricom, via its partnership with Visa M-Pesa GlobalPay Visa virtual card, announced providing tap-to-pay card payments to broaden its service offerings beyond its virtual offering.

Adil Khawaja, Safaricom Board Chairman, commented on the report, saying that the company’s growth has led the board to recommend a final dividend of 65 cents per share. This means the total dividend payable for FY24 will be one shilling and twenty cents per share, totalling KSh 48.08 billion.

(Techpoint Africa)

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