Safaricom PLC has announced that it will be focusing on increasing 4G coverage across the country in the next three months. The firm says it is looking at three main areas to be the main revenue streams, data, M-Pesa and fixed service (fibre to the home and business).
While releasing its half year results to September 2019, the firm says it added 732 additional 4G sites over the period, which saw an increase in customer numbers by 8.9% monthly active customers.
Revenue growth for the half year to September 2019 was 5.3% driven by robust performance across M-PESA and fixed data and strong customer growth offsetting decline in the traditional revenue streams and soft performance on mobile data.
M-Pesa grew by 18.2% to Sh 41.97 billion, mobile data revenue was at Sh 19.78 billion representing a growth of 4.0%, fixed service revenue grew by 18.4% to Sh 4.55 billion and short messaging service earned the company Sh 8.6 billion, a growth of 11.0%.
The market leader registered a 12.7% growth in its earnings before interest and taxes to Sh 49.82 billion. Net income rose to Sh 35.65 billion, a growth of 14.4% while free cash flow declined by 2.8% to Sh 37.33 billion.
While making his remarks, the company CEO, Michael Joseph said, “The past six months have been the most tumultuous for the company since inception 19 years ago,”
“Our top priority for the first half of this year continues to be our customers, specifically regaining their trust and in the process growing our market share. I am pleased to advise that we have witnessed improved customer sentiments through measures such as NPS and brand consideration and a market share increase for the first time since 2017,” added Michael.
Outlining their customer focus, the firm says it reduced the prices of data, calls and SMS by 36.9%, 7% and 18.9% respectively.
Recently the firm announced a change in business direction focusing on simplicity, transparency and honesty and announced that customers were now free to purchase data of any amount, 50% extra talk time, did away with data expiry and customers to be served in under 5 mins at its shops.
“As I announced last week, we are making a commitment to be Simple, Transparent and Honest in everything we do as demonstrated by the launch of our simplified plans and customer journey. This is a total transformation of how we do business, and while there may be some impact in the short-term, we believe it is the right thing to do to ensure the long- term sustainability of this company,” said Michael.
The firm also said it is accelerating its digital transformation and agile agenda. “We believe our continued focus on digital engagement with customers will enable us to enhance and simplify our customer service offerings.”
“We remain committed to our purpose of transforming lives, integrating the Sustainable Development goals into everything we do. We continue to support maternal and educational projects, and economic empowerment for the youth,” concluded Michael.