Kenya telco giant Safaricom’s profit surges 38% to $336m as data revenue jumps

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Board chairman Nicholas Nganga announced that it had had extended CEO Collymore’s contract.

SAFARICOM Ltd., Kenya’s largest company by market value, said full-year profit surged 38% as revenue growth from data services continued to outpace sales from voice-only business.

Net income jumped to 31.9 billion shillings ($336 million) in the 12 months through March from 23 billion shillings a year earlier, Chief Financial Officer John Tombleson told reporters today in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital.

That’s above the 29.7 billion shillings median estimate of eight analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Sales grew 13% to 163.4 billion shillings, helped by a 27% increase in non-voice revenue.

“We have seen very strong non-voice revenue growth in the last year,” Chief Executive Officer Bob Collymore said at the briefing.

Mobile phone companies in Kenya have been investing in Internet-enabled services as customers increasingly turn to smartphones and tablet computers as a means of communication and mobile banking. 

Safaricom, 40% owned by Newbury, England-based Vodafone Group Plc, had 67% of mobile-phone subscriptions in East Africa’s biggest economy at the end of last year and 84% of call minutes, according to a report by the Communications Authority of Kenya.

Chairman Nicholas Nganga announced that the company’s board has extended Collymore’s contract.

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