Safaricom has reported a strong growth in profitability for the six months ended September 30, 2023, with the Kenyan business hitting a double-digit growth in net income of 10.9 per cent to Sh41.6 billion.

Overall, the group net income, excluding minority interest, recorded a positive net income growth at 2.1 per cent to Sh34.2 billion, up from a 10.6 per cent decline in FY23, while the group service revenue grew by 10 per cent.

The strong performance was supported by a number of factors, including:

Reduced prices: Safaricom has progressively reduced prices for its products and services in recent years, making them more affordable for customers.

Increased usage: Customers are using Safaricom's products and services more than ever before, thanks to the reduced prices and the company's continued investment in its network and infrastructure.

Strong performance in Ethiopia: Safaricom's operations in Ethiopia have made significant progress since the company launched its services in the country in August 2022.

Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa attributed the strong performance to the company's focus on providing affordable and value-added products and services to its customers.

He said that the company had also been investing heavily in its network and infrastructure, which had helped to improve customer experience.

"We have delivered a great set of results largely by supporting our customers with enhanced value and reduced prices on our products and services," Ndegwa said.

"We are looking to maintain this momentum in the second half of the year."

Ndegwa also noted that Safaricom is seeing significant opportunities for growth in Ethiopia, where only 35 per cent of the population is currently financially included.

He said that Safaricom's operations in Ethiopia were making good progress.

The company had registered over 7 million gross additions in the second half of the year, and its data proposition was seeing strong usage levels.

"We are particularly impressed with the usage levels in mobile data," Ndegwa said. "Such levels were only realized in Kenya after close to 10 years of operations."

Safaricom is committed to deepening financial inclusion and promoting a cash-lite economy in Ethiopia.

The company has already launched M-PESA services in Ethiopia, and over 1.2 million customers have registered on the platform in less than two months.

Safaricom is also a major contributor to the Kenyan economy.

The company remitted Sh69.14 billion in duties, taxes, and license fees to the government in the six months ended September 2023.

This increased the total duties, taxes, and fees paid by Safaricom since inception to Sh1.24 trillion.

Here are some key highlights from the company's results:

Kenya business: The Kenyan business delivered a double-digit growth in net income, with M-PESA revenue recording a strong growth of 16.5 per cent YoY.

Ethiopia operations: Safaricom Ethiopia has made great strides, with over 7 million gross additions and M-PESA registering over 1.2 million customers in less than two months.

Fixed service and wholesale transit: Fixed service and wholesale transit revenue rose by 9.1 per cent YoY, supported by growth in consumer revenue.

Net income: Net income grew 10.9 per cent supported by M-PESA, mobile data, and effective cost management initiatives.

Safaricom's results for the six months ended September 2023 are summarized below:

Group net income excluding minority interest: Sh34.2 billion, up 2.1 per cent YoY

Group service revenue: Sh159.1 billion, up 9.9 per cent YoY

M-PESA revenue: Sh66.23 billion, up 16.5 per cent YoY

Mobile data revenue: Sh29.59 billion, up 12.5 per cent YoY

Fixed service and wholesale transit revenue: Sh7.37 billion, up 9.1 per cent YoY

Safaricom is well-positioned for continued growth in the coming years, thanks to its strong customer base, its leading position in the mobile money market, and its investments in its network and infrastructure.