Safaricom 2020/2021 Results: Winners and Losers

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Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa

Safaricom announced its FY results for the 2020/2021 period just the other day. The carrier, however, reported that it performed solidly, although it made some losses on some of its services thanks to the ongoing pandemic. In the past years, the telco gained massively from key products and services such as data, voice and M-PESA.

Losers

For the first time, Safaricom’s mobile money product M-PESA beat voice in terms of revenue. Both services, however, recorded a drop in revenue during the period under analysis.

Specifically, voice revenue declined by 4.6 percent YoY to KES 82.522 billion.


M-PESA revenue dropped by 2.1 percent to KES 82.647 billion.

Messaging dropped by 11.7 percent to KES 13.602 billion.

Service revenue was down by 0.3 percent YoY to KES 250.351 billion YoY.

Earnings before interest and tax dropped to KES 96.164 billion with a margin of 36.5 percent, which was a 2.2 ppts drop.

Net income (profit after tax) declined by 6.8 percent to KES 68.676 billion.

Winners

Starting with data, the service recorded a 11.5% jump YoY to KES 44.793 billion.

During this period, we saw an increased demand for affordable data offerings, growth in traffic for free education content as well as information from government and health portals on COVID-19 – CEO Ndegwa

Other mobile service revenue grew by 7.5 percent to register KES 7.779 billion.

The operator one-month active customers, one-month M-PESA customer, and one-month mobile data customers grew by 9.9%, 13.6%, and 2.1% to 31.45 million, 23.31 million, and 20.04 million, respectively.


The M-PESA losses have since forced the manufacturer to look into ways that it can gain more income from the product. For instance, the carrier is in talks with e-commerce giant Amazon to integrate M-PESA on its platform so Kenyans can easily pay for products. This is akin to what Safaricom did with AliExpress back in 2019.

The carrier will very likely import M-PESA to Ethiopia, following two key developments: Ethiopia no longer limits mobile money product bids to Ethiopian companies, and that Safaricom, which is a member of consortium named Global Partnership that includes Vodacom and Vodafone Groups, has been awarded a telco license to set shop in the country.