(Ecofin Agency) - Mobile operator Safaricom has published positive financial results for the 2020 financial year, which ended on 31 March. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) rose by 13.5% to KSh101.5 billion ($947 million). The Mobile Data and Mobile Money (M-Pesa) segments, which were under heavy pressure from the spread of Covid-19, recorded considerable growth, and enabled the company to end the year with more money.
While the revenues of Voice and SMS segments declined by 1.41% and 12.34% respectively to Sh94.45 billion ($881 million) and KSh17.19 billion ($160 million), the revenues of the Mobile Data and Mobile Money segments increased. Data revenue increased by 12.13% to KSh40.67 billion ($379 million). M-Pesa's revenue increased by 12.60% to KSh84.44 billion ($788 million), driven by a 9.5% growth in its subscriber base to 28.6 million users.
“The COVID-19 pandemic presents an opportunity for Safaricom to leverage its digital and data capability to support customers and community during this period and through the recovery process. We will focus on developing a range of digital products and services that will provide sustainable solutions to challenges in sectors like agriculture, health, education, and essential services,” said Peter Ndegwa, CEO of Safaricom.
Despite the uncertainty of the coming months, however, Safaricom's CEO remains optimistic that the company will be able to hold its ground in this situation. The company, which wants to make the most of data opportunities, has announced the launch of a low-cost 4G smartphone package to enable customers currently on 2G devices to upgrade and switch to broadband. The pack will be launched in partnership with Google.