Safaricom, Kenya’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, has reported revenues of KES49.63 billion (USD511 million) for the six months ended 30 September 2011, up 5.3% compared to the KES47.11 billion reported one year earlier. Elsewhere, EBITDA slumped 21.6% to KES14.76 billion, and operating profit dropped 44.7% to KES6.04 billion. CAPEX for the period increased 58.5% to KES15.87 billion, with investment centred on network development across the board. Of the firm’s total revenue, ‘data’ services (including SMS and mobile banking service M-PESA) proved to be a key driver, increasing 30.4% to KES14.61 billion; data revenues excluding SMS and M-PESA sales grew 36.3% to KES3.08 billion.
In operational terms, Safaricom claimed 18.1 million mobile subscribers by the end of Q3 2011, up 8.0% year-on-year. The company’s 3G subscriber base increased 43% compared to the year-ago period, and stood at 5.1 million at the same date. Meanwhile, Safaricom said that 14.9 million subscribers are now registered to its M-PESA wireless money transfer system, up 9.8% year-on-year. However, the telco reported just 6,177 fixed broadband customers, albeit up from 3,223 year-on-year. Safaricom said its network comprised a total of 2,604 cell sites, 1,343 3G base transceiver stations (BTS) and 195 WiMAX BTS at 30 September 2011.