Safaricom raises full-year profit forecast
Safaricom raised its forecast for full-year core profit on Friday after a 31 percent jump in the first six months of the year, driven mainly by growth in revenue from mobile data services.
Safaricom said it expected earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the year to March 31 to come in at Sh94 billion ($925 million) to Sh97 billion, up from a previous range of Sh89 billion to Sh92 billion.
“Mobile data is our fastest growing revenue stream, and we will focus on increasing the numbers of 3G and 4G smartphones on our network through launching more 4G sites and offering affordable smart devices,” the company said in a statement.
Safaricom, which is 40 percent owned by Britain’s Vodafone and by far the leading mobile phone operator in Kenya, said revenue from mobile data services surged 46 percent to 13.4 billion shillings in the six months to the end of September.
For the first time, revenue from non-voice services accounted for more than half of Safaricom’s overall telecoms services revenue, contributing 53 percent, up from 47 percent last year and 49 percent in the year to the end of March 2016.
Overall, Safaricom’s EBITDA rose 31 percent to Sh50.8 billion in the period from Sh38.8 billion in the same period in 2015 while pre-tax profit also jumped 31 percent to Sh34.5 billion.
Safaricom shares, which had climbed 7 percent this week ahead of the results, were 1 percent lower on Friday at Sh21. Earnings per share rose to 0.60 shillings from 0.45 shillings.
Safaricom’s overall service revenue, which includes all telecoms services but strips out items such as handset sales, rose to 98 billion shillings from 84.9 billion shillings.
M-Pesa revenue jumped 33.7 percent to 25.9 billion shillings from 19.35 billion shillings while revenue from phone calls edged higher to 45.7 billion shillings from 45.2 billion.
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