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Kenya's Safaricom posts 20% earnings increase, for a year ended in March


Kenya’s biggest telecoms operator,Safaricom posted a 20.7 percent jump in its earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and aortisation (EBITDA) to 100.3 billion shillings ($973.31 million) in the year ended March 2017.

Speaking to Reuters after an investor briefing, the company’s chief executive officer, Bob Collymore said the company had seen its subscriber base expand.

“The biggest growth segment, of course, is customers, and we have attracted three million more customers in the past year against population growth of about a million. I think it’s a pretty good achievement and providing you can keep growing that, I mean we are not going to grow by three million every year obviously,” he said.

Pretax profit jumped 26.7 percent to 70.6 billion shillings ($684.44 million) as revenue from mobile financial services and Internet access grew by double digits.

The company’s risk outlook for this financial year could be affected by upcoming general elections and volatility in the foreign exchange money market.

“Election risk is there on every businessman’s mind, hopefully we’ll overcome that in the next three months, that apart, the weather is a bit of a challenge for us. I think we were really pleased to see the shilling stabilize and the shilling actually performed really well, I mean we don’t like it at 103 of course ,” Collymore added.

Collymore reiterated that it is a kind of mixture between AliBaba and Amazon but essentially what he wants to be able to do is to be able to deliver a market place to small, medium size enterprises.

He noted that if one is running a business in Kisumu, it’s really hard to find a market place in Karen for example and so they just want to make that connection.

Safaricom is planning to enter electronic commerce later this year, seeking to leverage its customer base and its M-Pesa payment’s platform, to offer small and medium enterprises across the country a local market place on the web.

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