Econet may ‘wean off’ Ecocash
BUSINESS| Oct. 26, 2012, 3:58 p.m.
By Alfonce Mbizwo, Harare, Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe’s largest mobile phone operator Econet Wireless says it may wean off its successful mobile money transfer service, Ecocash, as it seeks to boost its growth.
Chief executive Douglas Mboweni told an analysts' briefing that that the company will pursue various models on Ecocash, one of which may be weaning it off for it to become a separate business unit – depending on the size of volumes.
Ecocash has 1.7 million subscribers and 1 600 agents and has, since inception, transacted USD300 million worth of transfers. Ecocash was now handling average monthly transactions of USD70 million, Mboweni said.
The company reported a 4.5% rise in half-year earnings, mainly driven by subscriber growth. Subscriber numbers grew 9% to 7 million in the year, driving revenue up to USD340 million from USD291 million previously.
Econet's basic earnings per share rose to USD0.46 during the six month period to August, compared to $0.44 the previous year.
“Since dollarisation the company has given USD74 million in dividends, USD100 million in share buybacks, USD1billion in investment and USD500 million in taxes”.
Further, he said, coming from a period of severe disinvestment pre-2009, the company had to concentrate on building up capital for the generation of cash flow for long-term investors.
“Econet is working on increasing dividend cover ratio,” Mboweni added.
Airtime sales contributed 66% of revenue, down 1% and 10% towards revenue growth while interconnect and roaming fees and Data, SMS and internet services stagnantly contributed 16% and 13% respectively.
Other services sales showed a marginal growth up 1% to 5% on last year. Data revenue picked up 50% to USD21 million on last corresponding half year mainly from corporate subscribers and swelling Smartphone usage.
Econet has over 70% of the Zimbabwe mobile phone market.
MORE BUSINESS NEWS
Kenyan SACCOS riding on innovation to attract customersAs confidence in mainstream banks remains low due to prohibitive interest rates, customers are embracing Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCO) as an alternative. Read More
BITC invites ICT investorsThe Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) is casting its net wide to appeal to players in the Information Technology sector to invest in the country. Read More
Yudala ‘an unstoppable movement’, says Zinox chiefThe opening of Yudala outlets, combining an online shopping platform with retail stores, has been described as a game-changer in Nigeria. Read More
Travelport, TTS sign reseller agreement for Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific regionTravelport and TTS have signed a sales and distribution agreement for TTS products in the Africa, Middle East, and Asia Pacific regions. Read More
Airbnb to expand further across AfricaAirbnb, the world’s leading community-driven hospitality company, announced that its CEO, Brian Chesky will attend GES 2015 to meet with entrepreneurs from around the world and explore the sharing economy’s impact and expansion, particularly on the African continent - which represents a huge opportunity for the company. Read More
What African entrepreneurs wantOn the eve of U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Kenya for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, GeoPoll, the Global Entrepreneurship Network, and the U.S. State Department have released a survey of 1,000 business owners throughout sub-Saharan Africa on entrepreneurship in their countries. Read More
ISON eyes 25,000 jobs, $400m in NigeriaISON Group has projected the creation of 25,000 new jobs and $400 million revenue within space of one or two years in Nigeria. Read More
NEC invests in XON to accelerate regional African growthNEC Europe, a wholly owned subsidiary of NEC Corporation, has invested in XON, the sub-Sahara African ICT group, and the two organisations will have an integrated market approach that will combine their local expertise in the region to provide greater sales coverage in the sub-Sahara African market. Read More
Orange, Airtel in talks on acquisitionsOrange and Bharti Airtel International (Netherlands) BV, have entered into an exclusive agreement to explore the possible acquisition by Orange of four Airtel subsidiaries. Read More
Equitel seeks a share of Kenya’s lucrative telco marketEquity Bank’s subsidiary, Finserve Africa, has launched Equitel, a new mobile payment and banking platform for its customers, which officially brings to the fore the convergence between mobile and banking services in Kenya. Read More
FEATURED STORYKenyan SACCOS riding on innovation to attract customers
As confidence in mainstream banks remains low due to prohibitive interest rates, customers are embracing Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCO) as an alternative.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAs curtain falls on MDGs, what next?
Dr. Bjorn Lomborg, president of the Copenhagen Consensus Centre, speaks to Biztechafrica about setting smart targets.