Safaricom (NSE: SCOM) has today announced plans to double its 4G network coverage to 5000 base stations by March 2020, covering all major towns and 80% of the Kenya population.
The announcement was made by the company CEO Bob Collymore as he released financial results for the year ending 31st March, 2019 which saw net income increase by 14.7% to KES 63.4 billion with revenue hitting KES 240.3 billion.
“We are pleased with the strong results we have delivered for the year, building on our long track record of delivering relevant products and putting the customer first. We foresee continued growth in the future,” said Collymore.
Safaricom expects to spend over KES 36 billion in driving up additional 4G coverage, which will see the company roll out an additional 2,030 4G and 4G+ base station to reach more than 80 per cent of the population.
“For a majority of Kenyans, the mobile phone is often the first and only link to the Internet. By broadening our 4G coverage to almost anyone in the country, we aim to ensure that no one has to miss an opportunity or get left out because of lack of access to affordable, quality, high-speed broadband, ” said Collymore.
Safaricom became the first to roll out a 4G network in Kenya in 2014, and in June 2017, became the first in East Africa to upgrade a section of its 4G network to 4G+. 4G provides customers with speeds of up to 100 Megabits per second with Safaricom’s 4G+ network supporting double the 4G speeds.
Voice service revenue grew by 0.3% to KES 95.94 billion while M-PESA revenue grew by 19.2% to KES 74.99 billion making the two the largest contributors to revenue.
“Looking ahead, the business will sustain its momentum of investing in the quality of our service and diversification of our revenue portfolio to ensure sustained returns to shareholders,” said Collymore.
Full-Year Guidance Achieved
- Service revenue growth of 7% to KES 240.30bn.
- Voice service (incoming and outgoing) revenue grew by 0.3% to KES 95.94bn.
- M-PESA revenue grew by 19.2% to KES 74.99bn.
- Mobile data revenue increased by 6.4% to KES 38.69bn.
- Messaging revenue declined by 1.3% to KES 17.50bn.
- Fixed service revenue increased by 22.7% to KES 8.19bn.
- Total customer base increased by 7.7% to 31.8m.
- 30-day active M-PESA customers increased 10.2% to 22.6m.
- 30-day active mobile data customers increased 6.6% to 18.8m.
Strong financial performance
- 13.1% growth in EBIT (Earnings before Interest) to KES 89.61bn with an EBIT margin of 35.8%, up 1.9ppts YoY.
- Net Income increased by 14.7% to KES 63.40bn.
- Free Cash Flow up 13.9% to KES 63.11bn.