Kenyan mobile service provider Safaricom posted a record 113% rise in half year profits before tax to $175-million (Sh11.5 billion). Net profits for the company also increased by 94% to the Sh7.8 billion level, while revenues grew by 19%.
According to The Star, “this has seen voice revenues rising by 19 per cent to Sh37.4 billion. Despite the stiff competition, the company saw its number of customers rising by 6.5 per cent to 19.2 million while the average revenue per user has also gone up by 11.8 per cent.”
The company’s M-Pesa and data offerings remained key drivers for their profit, as non-voice revenues grew by 28%. Safaricom’s M-Pesa, which represents 18% of the company’s total revenue, saw an increase of 32%.
Safaricom also announced that they will be investing a further Sh10 Billion to boost their data traffic and increase their data reach.
The company is busy digging new trenches for fiber optical cables, but CEO Bob Collymore said it will be an expensive operation.
“Because we are leasing from various providers, this is going to be expensive. But eventually, say this time next year, the data prices are expected to go down,” Collymore said.
According to The Star, “the process will connect 60 per cent of its base stations to most of the commercial buildings in the various Central Business Districts in Kenya. In the first half ending September 30, it recorded a 9 per cent increase in fixed data customers to mark 6,718 clients.”
Collymore also said earlier this year that the company will be pushing for cheaper mobile handsets to drive data usage.
“Smartphones and tablets are going to be a huge driver for data, We’ll continue to talk to more manufacturers to bring in cheaper smartphones. Cheaper than Ideos,” he said.
Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor