Safaricom posted a turnover increase in its 2022 financial year (ending March 31) on the back of mobile money and data rebounds, as the company declares it is back on pre-pandemic growth levels.
In a statement, Safaricom chairman Michael Joseph said: “The board is encouraged by the recovery from the pandemic in the past one year. We have witnessed a return to the pre-COVID-19 levels of GDP growth in 2021”.
Total revenue stood at KES298 billion (US$2.5bn) but profit after tax tipped 1.7% to KES67.4 billion. Service revenue grew 12.3% year-on-year (YoY) to KES281billion, which was supported by its mobile money platform M-Pesa, mobile data and fixed-line growth.
Mobile money platform M-Pesa “rebounded strongly” recording a 30.3% YoY growth to KES107 billion. This was supported by resuming transaction charges, which were frozen in January 2021. The platform crossed the 30 million customer mark during its last quarter.
Mobile data revenue grew 8.1% YoY in full-year 2022 which the operator credits to its customer value management initiatives driving personalised offers to customers.
Mobile data ARPU increased 10.4% to KES205.7, while active 4G devices on Safaricom’s network rose 29.3% YoY to 10.95 million, of which 51.3% are 4G handsets that use over 1GB of data. Customers using more than 1GB of data grew 26.5% to 7.7 million. Mobile data now accounts for 17.2% of service revenue.
Total M-Pesa transactions value grew 34.0% YoY to KES29.5 trillion while the volume of transactions grew 34.9% YoY to KES15.7 billion.
In the full financial year, the operator added 1.4 million customers to its base which now stands at over 32 million.
Notably, the operator group posted a 42.4% increase in CAPEX to KES49.78 billion ($428m), with KES10.4 billion alone stemming from constructing its network in Ethiopia.
Chief executive Peter Ndegwa said the company is “making progress” on striking a network sharing agreement with state-owned incumbent Ethio Telecom, which looked to establish its dominance by launching a pre-commercial 5G network this month.
"Beyond growth this year, we are firmly on course towards our journey of transitioning into a purpose-led technology company by 2025 guided by our purpose of Transforming Lives. I would like to thank my colleagues at Safaricom for their dedication and hard work put in the year to deliver such strong results and our customers for walking the journey with us. We look forward to a great year of transforming the lives of our people and customers,” said Ndegwa.