Safaricom shareholders on Thursday approved dividend payout of Ksh1.40 per share up from Ksh1.25 paid in 2019.
In a statement, the leading telecommunication company in the country said the disbursement, which is equivalent to 80 per cent of its normalized earnings, is a 12 per cent increase from last year.
The company is set to pay a total dividend of Ksh56 billion to shareholders with the National Treasury expected to receive Ksh19.63 billion.
Safaricom announced a 14.3 per cent increase in profits after tax to Ksh71.7 billion in the financial year ending March 31, 2020.
In 2019, the company issued a special dividend of Ksh0.62per share bringing the total dividend issued to shareholders of Ksh1.87, amounting to Ksh74.92 billion.
During today’s 12th Annual General Meeting which was held virtually and attended by Chief Executive Officer Peter Ndegwa, the Safaricom board appointed Michael Joseph as the new Chairman following the retirement of Nicholas Nganga, who has served in the position for 13 years.
“As a purpose-driven business, Safaricom has been prioritizing support to Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises. We hope that the dividends they receive as shareholders will give the much-needed boost for their businesses during this difficult COVID-19 pandemic period even as we come up with ways to ensure we support them post COVID-19,” said Mr Nganga.
Mr Nganga joined the Board in May 2004 and was elected Chairman in January 2007.
Mr Joseph has been serving as non-executive board member since 2008.
Nganga is credited for growing shareholder value by 607% since listing having assumed office at a time when the government was starting the process of offering 25% of its shares to the public through the Nairobi Securities Exchange in 2008.
Under Mr Nganga’s leadership, mobile money transfer service, M-Pesa, has been recognized as one of the top 10 most influential finance projects of the last 50 years.
“I am happy that I handover the leadership baton to Michael whose skills and energy I have had the chance to see and appreciate over the years. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve, not just the board but also the shareholders and the company. Throughout the years, I am proud of the numerous moments that I have been involved in, steering and guiding this great organization to the enviable position it is today,” said Mr Nganga.
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In his acceptance speech, the former CEO lauded the outgoing chairman for his achievements further promising to take the company to even higher levels.
“It is an honor to serve as the next Chairman of a company that I am passionate about and have been involved with ever since its inception. It is with humility that I take over from Mr Nganga, whose leadership, wisdom and guidance has led Safaricom to where it is in the 13 years, he has been the Chairman of the Board. As I take up the new role, I am optimistic of the great opportunities ahead to work with the Board, Peter and the entire Safaricom team to continue to transform lives, ” said Mr Joseph.