Safaricom released its financial results and it looks impressive. The firm made Ksh 7.6B ($94 Million) in profits and unlike early last year when the VAS chief told us at Mobile Web East Africa that data was not key to Safaricom’s growth, it has now become key.

Safaricom’s clientelle represents a market share of 76.7%.   It says that the number of 3G enabled sites has increased significantly to 829 in the period, and the Wimax network has grown to a total of 164 sites with both networks offering coverage to a large proportion of the Kenya population.

The company was finalising and has subsequently concluded the acquisition of 100% stake in two Wimax service providers namely, IGO Wireless Ltd and Instaconnect Ltd as we reported in June. The communications giant says that this will add 7MHz of spectrum to the existing 15MHz Wimax frequencies in the 3.5 GHz band.

Over 8,000 laptops, 45,000 data modems and 400,000 data enabled handsets were sold in the last half year.

M-PESA service continues to grow, with 13.5m customers registered representing 81% of the Safaricom customer base. The M-PESA customers can access M-PESA at over 20,000 agent outlets countrywide. In May 2010 the M-KESHO service was launched in partnership with Equity Bank with the aim of deepening financial access of M-PESA customers.

M-KESHO is a mobile-centric bank account linked to M-PESA where customers can deposit and withdraw money from their bank account, purchase insurance and apply for overdrafts. Initial take-up of M-KESHO is very encouraging with over 613,000 registered in the first 5 months.

    Key Highlights

1.     Growth in;

o    Active customers by 15.2% to 16.7m compared to 30 September 2009

o    Revenue by 15.9% to Kshs 47.1bn

o    EBITDA by 13.8% to Kshs 18.8bn

o    Net Profit by 15.1% and Earnings per Share to Kshs 0.193

2.     Growth in total data;

o    23.8% of total revenue compared to 17.7% as at 30 September 2009

o    Mobile and fixed data revenue by 68.5%

o    M-PESA revenue by 63.9%

o    M-PESA registered users to 13.5m equating to 81% of our customer base

3.     EBITDA margin of 40.0%

4.     166.7% growth in free cash flow

5.     As in previous years the Directors do not propose a payment of an interim dividend.

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