Safaricom non-voice revenue, subscriber numbers show strong growth
Safaricom has reported a total revenue increase of 13% to Kshs 163.4bn, with non-voice service revenue increasing by 27% to Kshs 68.8bn. In the company’s annual results for the year ending 31 March, Safaricom reports that its mobile data revenue grew by 59% to Kshs 14.8bn and MPesa revenue increased by 23% to Kshs 32.6bn. Safaricom recorded a drop in subscriber churn and an 8% increase in subscriber numbers to 23.3m. Pending shareholder approval, Safaricom expects to pay the largest dividend in Kenyan history.
Key to its future growth will be mobile data and services such as MPesa, Safaricom said.
Bob Collymore, Safaricom Limited CEO, commented: “We have delivered on our goal to transform lives by providing unmatched services; improving our network quality; and deepening financial inclusion with the customer uptake of Lipa na MPesa.
Our 4G network is now available in Nairobi and Mombasa, and we will roll out to another 13 towns and cities by year end. This is a first for Kenya and will enable our customers to experience superfast home broadband and mobile data offerings.
We have grown our total revenue by 13% to Kshs 163.4bn through focusing on providing quality services that resulted in double digit growth across our non-voice service revenue streams. Voice service revenue which now stands at 54% of total revenue grew at 4% while non-voice service revenue which accounts for 42% of total revenue, sustained its growth trajectory with a 27% increase to Kshs 68.8bn driven mainly by Data and MPesa. Devices and other revenue contribute 4% of total revenue.
Mobile penetration in Kenya stood at 80.6% with Safaricom recording the largest subscriber share of 67.4%. Our customer base has grown by 8% to 23.3m while churn rate dropped to 17.3% as a result of efforts centered on retaining and rewarding our loyal customers.
Voice service revenue grew 4% to Kshs 87.4bn, this growth was supported by our loyal customer base attracted by a superior network experience, convenient airtime distribution and attractive consumer propositions and promotions such as the ‘Tetemesha’ campaign.
Messaging revenue increased by 15% to Kshs 15.6bn which represents 10% of our total revenue. This was driven by increased usage from affordable SMS bundles and SMS based promotions such as‘Bonyeza Ushinde’.
MPesa, now contributing 20% of total revenue, continues to be a significant driving factor in our growth. This was driven by a 14% increase in 30 day active MPesa customers to 13.9m as well as an increase in the average number of transactions per customer. In the year, we expanded our MPesa agent outlets to 85,756 thereby promoting accessability of the service to our customers. Since its launch, the Lipa na MPesa service has enabled cashless merchant payments and facilitated trade between businesses and their customers while improving business efficiency. In March 2015 the service had 49,413 merchants active on a 30 day basis, who received Kshs 11.6bn of payments.
Mobile data revenue grew at an impressive 59% driven by an increased uptake of affordable data bundles and a 21% growth in 30 day active mobile data customers to 11.6m. By 31 March 2015 we had 4.3m customers on 3G enabled devices of which 3.4m were smartphones. Fixed data revenue increased by 22% to Kshs 3.1bn on the back of 23% growth in fixed data customers.
We continue to focus on our ‘Best Network in Kenya’ program with Kshs 33.7bn invested on capital expenditure during the year, our goal being to provide the best customer experience through improving our network quality, capacity and coverage. We have increased the population coverage of our 3G network to 69%, completed the modernization of our 2G network which covers 92% of the population and have connected 30% of our base stations to our fibre.
In light of the strong financial performance in the past year, the Board recommends a dividend of Kshs 0.64 per share – an increase of 36%. Pending approval by shareholders we will pay out a dividend of Kshs 25.64bn, which represents 80% of our net income, for the year ended 31 March 2015; once again, the largest dividend in Kenyan history.”
On the year to come, he said: “Mobile data is one of the key drivers of future growth. Today we are announcing the launch of Safaricom’s home broadband solution, which is a set-top box that brings the 3G and 4G network into the home, and distributes the superfast connectivity via Wi-Fi to any existing Wi-Fi enabled devices. As an added bonus the set-top box brings Kenyan digital free-to-air TV channels to the customers’ TV. We will offer a wider range of relevant content and Video-on-demand in the coming year.
We continue on our Best Network in Kenya journey, with a new set of goals to increase our 3G population coverage to 80%, and to roll-out our 4G network to an additional 13 towns and cities by December 2015.”