Safaricom interim dividend jumps 41pc to Sh25.6 billion


Safaricom PLC headquarters in Westlands, Nairobi. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG

Safaricom #ticker:SCOM is set to pay an interim dividend of Sh25.64 billion equivalent to Sh0.64 per share.

The dividend will be 42.44 percent higher or Sh7.64 billion more compared to a year earlier when it paid a first-ever interim dividend of Sh18 billion equivalent to Sh0.45 per share.

The telco said it will pay the interim dividend on or about March 31 to shareholders on record as of March 17.

“The board of Safaricom is pleased to announce that at its meeting that was held on February 24, 2022, it was resolved to approve payment of an interim dividend of Sh0.64 per ordinary share held amounting to Sh25.6 billion," Safaricom said in a statment.

The National Treasury will be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the surprise dividend announcement and will get a gross payout of Sh8.9 billion for its 35 percent stake in the country’s most profitable firm.

Multinationals Vodacom Group Limited and Vodafone Group Plc will share a gross payout of Sh10.2 billion for their combined 40 percent interest in the Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed company.

Safaricom half-year net profit to September rose 12.1 percent to Sh37.05 billion with M-Pesa revenues driving the rebound on account of end to free State-backed transactions to support customers during the Covid-19 period.

Its performance in the full year ending March is expected to show an improvement following the reinstatement of charges on low-value M-Pesa transactions starting January 1, a boost to earnings in the review period.

Safaricom is expected to announce a final dividend when it releases its results for the year ending March.

The telecoms operator has a policy of paying out at least 80 percent of net income as dividends.

Pressure from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) forced Safaricom to split its dividend payouts for the first time last year in the quest to shield the weakening shilling when the telecommunications firm seeks dollars for repatriation to foreign investors, it emerged earlier.