Safaricom, East Africa’s largest telecommunications company, has reported a decline in profits after tax for the year ending March 2023. The company’s earnings fell by 22.2% to Ksh52.5 billion, down from Ksh67.5 billion in the previous year. However, Safaricom experienced a rise in overall revenue by 4.3% to Ksh310.9 billion, up from Ksh298 billion the previous year.
Various external factors were cited as contributing to the decline in profits, including inflation, a depreciating shilling, drought, failed rain seasons, and slow economic activity during the election period. Safaricom’s mobile money service, M-Pesa, was a bright spot, generating an 8.8% increase in revenues to Ksh117.2 billion.
Safaricom’s CEO, Peter Ndegwa, assured stakeholders that the company would prioritize improving services and expanding its product range. The CEO also pledged to leverage emerging technologies to enhance the company’s participation in the digital ecosystem. He further expressed commitment to support Safaricom’s sustainability and social responsibility programs.
Despite the challenging economic environment, Safaricom continues to invest in network infrastructure and product expansion. The launch of M-Pesa in Ethiopia is also expected to boost the company’s mobile money revenues. Meanwhile, Adil Khawaja, Safaricom’s chair, noted that regulatory interventions and a downturn in economic activity had impacted the company’s profitability. Nonetheless, Safaricom remains optimistic about its future prospects.