Telcos company Safaricom recorded a 6.8 per cent drop in its 2020 net income to Sh68.68 billion due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Safaricom announced that its service revenue closed at Sh250.35 billion driven by double-digit growth in mobile data business that grew by 11.5 per cent to Sh44.79 billion.

Revenue from M-Pesa and voice went down significantly with M-Pesa recording a 2.1 per cent drop to Sh82. 64 billion as voice dropped by 4.6 per cent to register revenue of Sh82.55 billion.

The earnings by the telcos before interest and tax also declined by 5.3 per cent to Sh96.16bn.

During the period in 2020, Safaricom’s free cash flow decreased by 8.2 percent to Sh64.52 billion as messaging revenue also went down by 11.7 per cent to Sh13.60 billion.

“We have not been spared from the tough operating environment, as evidenced by the dip in our service revenue, earnings before interest and tax and net income,” said Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa.

He added, “We remained resilient in a disruptive year, demonstrating strong operational capacity, diligence and commitment in supporting the country, our customers and shareholders through this uncertain time.”

He said the immediate focus of the company in the year has been to prioritise its network capacity, operations and financial services to limit disruptions.

However, mobile data revenue went up by 11.5 per cent during the period to Sh44.79 billion as the total monthly active customer base increased by 9.9 percent to 31.45 million.

Monthly active M-Pesa users went up 13.6 percent to 28.31 million, while monthly active mobile data users increased 8.1 per cent to 23.77 million.

“During this period, the Board declared for the first time, an interim dividend of Sh0.45 per ordinary share held amounting to Sh18.03 billion.

“The final dividend per share (DPS) of Sh0.92 dividend per share amounting to Sh36.86 billion has been proposed by the Board for approval at the next Annual General Meeting.”