Kenyan-based telecom giant Safaricom has posted the first drop in full year profit in nine years, the Business Daily reports.
The telecom’s bottom line was weighed down by reduced voice, messaging and M-Pesa revenues on the back of free mobile money transfers of Ksh1,000 ($9) and below.
The telco’s net profit for the financial year ended March 2021 dropped by 6.8% to Ksh68.67 billion ($641 million) from Ksh73.65 billion ($687.9 million) the previous year.
“The Covid-19 pandemic brought about socio-economic challenges that disrupted our customers, strained the consumer wallet and businesses across the country. We were not spared either,” said Peter Ndegwa, Safaricom CEO.
The report shows that the performance came on the back of a decline in service revenue and increased costs in Covid-19 business environment, plunging the telco into the first full year profit fall since 2012.
Safaricom had in March 2012 posted a 4.03 percent fall in net profit to Ksh12.63 billion ($117.9 million) but has since been recording growth until the infectious virus upset the business environment.
During the review period, voice revenue fell by 4.6 percent to Ksh82.55 billion ($771 million) while messaging revenue retreated by 11.7 percent to Ksh13.6 billion ($127 million).