M-Pesa and Data Push Safaricom’s Half Year Profits to Kshs. 23.9 Billion

Bob Collymore, Safaricom CEO
Bob Collymore, Safaricom CEO


  • Safaricom’s non-voice revenue surpassed voice revenue for the first time
  • Number of 30 day M-Pesa users hits 17.6 Million customers
  • Data revenues grew 46.3% to Khs. 13. 4 Billion
  • Total revenues for the period under revenue hit Kshs. 98 Billion

Safaricom today announced its HY 2017 financial results for the period ended 30th September 2016. In the announcement, non-voice revenue which includes M-Pesa, data, smartphone sales and others surpassed voice revenue for the first time as the main source of revenue for the telco. Safaricom generated a total revenue of  98 Billion which represented a 15.4% growth. Of the 98 Billion, voice revenue accounted for Kshs  45.7 Billion while non-voice revenue figures hit Kshs. 52.3 Billion.


The key drivers for this growth include M-Pesa, the mobile money service owned by Safaricom saw the number of 30 day customers grow to 17.6 Million users. Customer transactions  grew 38.4% to 9.3 transactions per month for each customer.

Total revenues from M-Pesa grew  33.7% to 25.9 Billion in the period under revue. Last year, Safaricom relocated M-Pesa servers from Germany to Kenya which also allowed for the resting of the initial M-pesa build. The new build referred to G2 has allowed for the increase in the number of transactions to 21,000 transactions per minute further making it easier for customers to transact on the service.

The Lipa na M-Pesa merchant service has also been critical in allowing the growth of M-Pesa with over 50,000 monthly active merchants on their service. Safaricom did not however state the amounts these merchants transacted in the given period. Overall, Kshs. 3.2 Trillion was transacted on M-Pesa from Kshs. 2.5 Trillion in the same period last year.


Data was also a key driver of the growth in the period under review owing to increments in the average revenue per user as well as active data customers. The number of 30 day montly active data users grew by 13.7% to  14.9 Million customers with revenues growing by 46.3% t0 13. 4 Billion.

The increased number of smartphone users on the network (currently 10 Million smartphone users) were responsible for this growth. The firm also introduced flexible data bundles which saw the number of bundle users grow to  7.4 Million, a 38.5% rise.  Fixed data on the other hand contributed Kshs. 2.4 Billion in revenue, with the number set to rise as the firm looks to increase its fiber to the home outlay.

Other non-voice revenue

Smartphone sales generated Kshs. 3.7 Billion while other activities such as the completion of the National Police Service also contributed significantly to this effect.

Voice Revenue

Voice generated Kshs. 45.5 Billion which was a 1.1% growth in total revenues. Messaging on the other hand grew 8.1% to Kshs. 8.6 Billion. Safaricom’s free cash flow now stands 20.1 Billion which is an increase of 111% attributed to the completion of the CCTV project by the government.

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Eric writes on business, govt policy and enterprise tech.


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