Safaricom, Kenya’s largest listed company yesterday posted a 19.6% increase in net income amounting to 38.1 billion for the full year ending March 2016. This immense growth was largely supported by income generating from M-Pesa services and mobile data. Pending approval by shareholders Safaricom will be paying out a dividend of Kshs 30.48bn, which represents 80% of net income. The Board has recommended a dividend of Kshs 0.76 per share which is an increase of 18.9%. Safaricom have also maintained the leading position as Kenya’s most admired brand with an overall brand equity score of 89% and a net promoter score of 66%
Speaking at the announcement yesterday, CEO Bob Collymore commented: “Our continued focus on the three strategic pillars: putting customer first, providing relevant products and enhancing operational excellence, has resulted in an 8% growth of our loyal customers base generating strong financial and commercial performance.
The key highlights from the Safaricom FY 2016 include:
Maintained market share at 64.7% as at December 2015.
7.8% increase in total customer base to 25.2m
Rolled out a new regional sales and operations structure.
Investment of the Ksh. 32.1 billion in the network, IT infrastructure and innovation.
Significant improvements in voice and data service quality.
Safaricom has realigned their sales and operations teams to be independently managed in six regions.
Bob Collymore mentioned that they have faced international competition from companies like Whatsapp. In the case of Whatsapp they dont mind consumers using it because although they are losing some revenue for voice and SMS the revenue for data has increased so they are still making money.
When asked about the concern that KRA will be targetting Mpesa users to find tax evaders, Bob Collymore said that Safaricom also heard about it in the news. Once it becomes official, that is they get communication from KRA on the same then they will engage on the issue.
Here are some of the other highlights
The M-PESA revenue increased by 27.2% to Kshs 41.5 billion driven by a 19.8% growth in 30 day active M-PESA customers to 16.6 million. There was 17.5% growth of M-PESA agent footprint to 100,744. Lipa Na M-PESA payments made at 44,000 merchant outlets in March grew by 74% to Kshs 20 billion.
Mpesa will continue to be Safaricom’s key platform to drive financial inclusion. Safaricom will use Mpesa to drive the growth of savings and loans and grow cashless payments.
Mobile data revenue
Data remains Safaricom’s fastest growing revenue stream and the company is focused on growing it further through accelerating smartphone penetration, growing 3G and 4G users, offering relevant content, driving adaptation of data bundles and owning the home through their affordable 4G home broadband (the big box) and fiber connect to the home solutions.
Mobile data revenue grew at 42.7% driven by a combination of a 21.5% increase in 30 day active mobile data customers to 14.1 million, an increased uptake of data bundles and a growth in smartphone penetration. In March 2016 they had a figure of 7.9 million customers on 3G and 4G enabled devices, of which 0.7 million are 4G handsets.
There was a 10.6% growth in messaging revenue, amounting to Kshs 17.3 billion, due to an increase in the number of SMS users benefiting from affordable SMS bundles and relevant promotions. This was driven by 14.0% growth in 30 day active SMS users to 15.23 million, 24.1% growth in active SMS bundle users to 4.96 million and growth in premium rated services – lottery and gaming.
The non-voice service revenue increased as well by +26% to Kshs 86.9 billion with M-Pesa and data witnessing immense growth. The voice services on the other hand increased by 3.9%.
Service revenue for the year grew by 13.8% to Kshs 177.8 billion, and the second half grew by 15.2%. Voice revenue also saw significant growth by 3.9% to Kshs 90.8 billion representing 51.1% of service revenue. Non-voice revenue grew by 26.35 and now represents 48.9% of service revenue up from 44.15 last year.
This was mostly attributed to more subscribers using Safaricom products and services and 7.8 growth in customer base to 25.16 million customers, despite removing 1.7 million customers from the count.
Safaricom said that they continue to ensure that their customers have the best network through expansion, upgrades and quality improvement by building more 2G, 3G and 4g sites, upgrading their WiMAX sites and rolling out their own fiber to more buildings and homes.
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