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Kenya's Safaricom sees lower annual core earnings on pandemic hit

11/09/2020 | 02:23am EST
A man walks past Safaricom shop, a mobile telecommunication provider in Kenya's capital Nairobi

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Safaricom, Kenya's biggest telecoms operator, said on Monday it expects core earnings to drop by 7-10.5% in the year ending March 2021, hurt by the impact of the coronavirus crisis.

The firm, which is part owned by Britain's Vodafone and South Africa's Vodacom, posted a 4.8% decline in its first-half service revenue to 118.41 billion shillings ($1.09 billion).

Full-year core earnings, or earnings before interest and taxes, are expected to come in at 91-94 billion shillings, a 7-10.5% drop from the prior year, said Chief Executive Officer Peter Ndegwa.

The first-half decline was driven by a drop in revenue from its mobile financial services, M-Pesa, and voice calls.

In March, Safaricom eliminated charges on peer-to-peer transfers of amounts below 1,000 shillings to facilitate cashless transactions and help curb the spread of the coronavirus through banknotes, cutting its revenue from the service.

Revenue from provision of internet services increased, but were not sufficient to offset the drop in M-Pesa and voice calls, the company said at an online investor briefing.

($1 = 108.9000 Kenyan shillings)

(Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

By Duncan Miriri


© Reuters 2020
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
SAFARICOM PLC -0.55% 36.35 End-of-day quote.6.13%
VODACOM GROUP LIMITED -0.65% 123.19 End-of-day quote.-0.96%
VODAFONE GROUP PLC 0.49% 127 Delayed Quote.4.50%
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