Safaricom, Kenya’s biggest telecoms operator reported lower-than-expected earnings in the fiscal year 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It said its core earnings for the full year declined 6.9 per cent to 96.16 billion shillings attributed to a decline in revenue from financial services and calls in the year ended March 31, from 101.5 billion shillings a year earlier.
“The Covid-19 pandemic brought about socio-economic challenges that disrupted our customers, strained the consumer wallet and businesses across the country. We were not spared either,” said Peter Ndegwa, Safaricom CEO.
The telco’s service revenue recorded a marginal decline of 0.3% to close at Ksh 250.35 billion driven by double-digit growth in the mobile data business, which grew by 11.5% YoY to Ksh 44.79 billion.
M-PESA and Voice revenue declined marginally with M-PESA recording a 2.1% drop YoY to Ksh 82. 64 billion and voice dropping by 4.6% to register a revenue of Kshs 82.55 billion.
Chief Executive Peter Ndegwa said its guidance for the Financial year 2022 is at the range of KES 105 – 108 billion for Earnings Before Interest and Tax and Capital Expenditure guidance in the range of KES 40-43 billion.”
· 5.3% YoY decline in EBIT (Earnings before Interest and Tax) to KES 96.16bn with an EBIT margin of 36.5%, down 2.2ppts YoY.
· Net Income reduced by 6.8% YoY to KES 68.68bn.
· Free Cash Flow down 8.2% YoY to KES 64.52bn.
· Service revenue contracted by 0.3% to KES 250.35bn.
· Voice service (outgoing) revenue reduced by 4.6% YoY to KES 82.55bn.
· M-PESA revenue dropped by 2.1% YoY to KES 82.65bn.
· Mobile data revenue increased by 11.5% YoY to KES 44,79bn.
· Messaging revenue declined by 11.7% YoY to KES 13.60bn.
· The total one-month active customer base increased by 9.9% to 31.45Mn.
· One month active M-PESA customers increased 13.6% to 28.31mn.
· One-month active mobile data customers increased 8.1% to 23.77mn.
Safaricom board has recommended a final dividend of KSh0.92 per share amounting to KSh36.86 billion, bringing the total payout for the year to KSh54.89 billion.