Yesterday, Safaricom announced its audited results for the year ended March 31, 2018, with little surprises as we have come to expect of the telecoms operator. The results are mostly positive, and while the latest report by Kenya’s ICT regulator the Communications Authority indicated that the telco had lost some customers to the gain of both Airtel and Telkom Kenya, Safaricom new numbers illustrate strong and growing performance.
The carrier’s money-minting M-PESA service saw increased revenues by 14.2 percent to KES 62.91 billion. Other key contributors to admirable financials include outgoing voice (KES 88.96 billion), mobile data that registered a 24.0 percent jump to record KES 36.36 billion in revenue, as well as SMS that was marked by KES 17.72 billion in profits.
Active M-PESA users (those who transact within a 30-day window) increased to 20.5 million, while those who use data services under the same metrics increased by 6.2 percent to 17.7 million. On the whole, Safaricom is 400K customers shy of 30 million!
Also, the announcement was graced by a word from the company’s CEO, Bob Collymore who has been away in London for treatment.
“Safaricom finished the financial year ending 31st March 2018 ahead of management guidance. This performance was driven by customer growth and retention, having provided customers value through segmented and personalized offers.
“Shareholder wealth also grew strongly, with EPS up 19.9% YoY on underlying basis. The solid results are proof of: one, a balanced and resilient business model that does not over index in one revenue stream; two, that the investments and strategies put in place are yielding results and have enabled the business monetize more, and lastly, effective cost management,” commented Mr. Collymore via a video feed.
His speech was mostly marked by Safaricom’s rebrand and its renewed effort in supporting community projects via partnerships in healthcare and agriculture.
Perhaps the most interesting twist of the investor briefing is the return of the company CEO back to Nairobi.
Safaricom has capitalized on the robustness of its data services to double its revenue contributions. To put this into perspective, Safaricom borrowed a leaf from Telkom Kenya by availing several plans to appeal to all kinds of customers. Those who use loads of data at a short period can opt for Tunukiwa bundles, while intermittent data use that should be spread over an extended period can pick monthly bundles. High-value customers have been taken care of by Platinum, and so forth.
Notably, the telco is at 36.9 percent smartphone penetration in the country.
Add these options with an influx of cheaply priced 4G smart handhelds and you will see why this department bears the fortunate hallmark of raking in admirable profits.
“In FY 2019 we look to drive long-term shareholder value by deploying next-generation network services, leveraging data analytics, and segmentation and guided by our purpose of transforming lives to turn innovative ideas into realities,” reads a report by Safaricom.