SAFARICOM’S EARNINGS HIT KSHS. 140 BILLION BECOMING THE FIRST COMPANY IN THE REGION TO SURPASS BILLION-DOLLAR MARK

Peter Ndegwa, CEO of Safaricom.
Peter Ndegwa, CEO of Safaricom during the release of full financial results of year 2023/2024.
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Safaricom (NSE: SCOM) has announced Kshs. 139.9 billion of earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) in the period ending March 31st 2024. At a group level, incorporating the start-up costs and investments in its subsidiary Safaricom Ethiopia, the group closed at an EBIT of Kshs. 94.9 billion, a 3.5 percent growth year on year. EBIT is a measure of how efficient the management has been utilizing investor funds

The earnings by the leading telecommunication company in East Africa surpassed both market expectations and the group’s guidance range of Kshs. 129 – 132 billion. This performance was driven by customer segmentation, public sector digitization, investments in new technologies and better use of data and analytics to improve customer service.

Financial results

In a statement during the announcement of the full year 2023/2024 results, Peter Ndegwa, Safaricom’s CEO anticipates investments Safaricom Ethiopia will start paying off from 2025. “We are extremely pleased with what we have been able to achieve as a group despite the significant start-up 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,” he said.

In the period under review, Safaricom Group’s revenue grew by 13.4 percent to Kshs. 335.3 billion. Worth noting is that M-PESA, the world’s first mobile money transfer system contributed Kshs. 140 billion translating to 42.4 percent whereas GSM business accounted for 52.7 percent at Kshs.173.9 billion. Safaricom runs the world’s largest mobile payment system and Africa’s largest fintech.

At the same time, net income increased by 13.7 percent to Kshs. 84.74 billion for Safaricom Kenya. Similarly, Safaricom Group’s net income excluding minority interest grew to Kshs. 62.99 billion an increase by 1.2 percent

Purpose-led technology

Mr. Ndegwa highlighted that the company’s vision towards being a purpose-led technology company was a key factor in prompting investments in new technologies. Consequently this approach has enabled improve efficiencies and better customer engagement.

“We are able to anticipate and serve our customers more intuitively, while engaging our communities to solve their societal challenges. As a result of our razor-sharp focus on our customers, we are now a billion-dollar business in Kenya,” Mr. Ndegwa said.

Strong growth in subsidiary

Commenting about Safaricom Ethiopia operations, Mr. Ndegwa noted that there has been impressive growth. “We have doubled our active customer base to 4.4 million, we have built a world class network that is currently almost half the Kenya’s size and are on track to meet our licence obligations,” he remarked. “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 percent Ethiopians.”

Announcing dividend recommendation by the board, Adil Khawaja, Safaricom’s board chairperson said: “As a result of this growth, the board will recommend a final dividend of Kshs. 65 cents per ordinary share bringing the total dividend payable for FY24 to one shilling and twenty cents per share, equivalent to Kshs.48.08 billion.”

Safaricom has also announced its support towards the floods victims through M-PESA Foundation. The Kshs. 30 million currently set aside by the foundation will be used to support the initial relief efforts that include vital supplies, food, temporary shelter, medicines and emergency medical kits in affected areas. Mr. Khawanja noted that the company will continue to pursue its purpose of transforming lives and engage more with the communities they serve.

Key Highlights  – Safaricom Group including Ethiopia

     Service Revenue 5.2% to Kshs. 295.7 billion.

     Voice revenue -2.6% to Kshs. 81.1 billion.

     M-PESA revenue 8.8% to Kshs. 117.2 billion.

     Mobile data revenue +11.4% to Kshs. 54.0 billion.

     Total customer base 8.1% to 45.9 million.

     One-month active M-PESA customers 5.2% to 32.1 million.

     One-month active mobile data customers 7.0% to 26.1 million.

Net Income

1.    Safaricom Group excluding Minority Interest -10.6% to Kshs. 62.3 billion.

2.    Safaricom Plc Kenya, +3.0% to Kshs. 74.5 billion.

3.    Safaricom PLC Operating Free Cash Flow +4.3% to Kshs. 115.7 billion.

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