Safaricom, Kenya’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, has reported revenues of KES94.83 billion (USD1.09 billion) for the twelve months ended 31 March 2011. This figure represents a rise of 12.9% compared to the KES83.96 billion reported in the same period a year earlier. Meanwhile, EBITDA slumped 2.4% to KES35.72 billion, and operating profit dropped 14.2% to KES19.39 billion. CAPEX for the period increased 46.1% to KES25.48 billion, with investment centred on network development across the board. Of the firm’s total revenue, data services proved to be a key driver, increasing 57.1% to KES24.7 billion; data revenues now accounts for 28% of the total, compared to 19.6% a year earlier.
In operational terms, Safaricom claimed 17.18 million mobile subscribers, up 8.8% from the 15.79 million subscribers recorded at end-March 2010. The company’s 3G subscriber base increased 85.6% year-on-year, and stood at 4.9 million at the end of March. Meanwhile, Safaricom said that 13.8 million subscribers are now registered to its M-PESA wireless money transfer system, up 45.5% year-on-year. Safaricom said its network comprised a total of 2,501 cell sites, 1,140 3G base transceiver stations (BTSs) and 186 WiMAX BTSs at 31 March 2011.
Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore commented: ‘The results for the group have yet again demonstrated Safaricom’s strength and depth of services. Our strategy is to continually invest in all areas of our network and to deliver on our customer needs. Driving M-PESA to grow financial inclusion and democratising data and internet to bridge the digital divide have delivered very strong growth. M-PESA continues to show significant growth with registered customers increasing by 46% to almost 14 million. This growth in customers, coupled with the additional services offered, led to an increase in revenue by over 50% to just under KES12 billion, contributing to an overall revenue growth of 13% to around KES95 billion. The investment in data services – principally 3G, fibre and WiMAX – saw the number of mobile data customers increase by over 85% to 4.9 million’.