Safaricom has posted a 22.2 percent decline in net profit for the full year ended March 2023, the third consecutive drop in earnings on heavy capital investments in Ethiopia.
Profitability stood at Sh52.48 billion, down from Sh67.49 billion posted in the previous period.
The performance results were released Thursday morning even as the banking regulator National Bank of Ethiopia, announced granting the telco a licence to roll out M-Pesa mobile money services in the country. The licence cost Safaricom $150 million (Sh20.5 billion at the current exchange rates).
Safaricom rolled out operations in Ethiopia about seven months ago and projects that the unit will break even after four years of operations. The unit posted a net loss of Sh21.7 billion.
The Kenyan unit posted Sh74.5 billion profit buoyed by strong growth in mobile data and mobile money.
Revenue from M-Pesa grew by 8.8 percent to Sh117.2 billion, whilst income from mobile data grew by 10.7 percent to Sh53.6 billion, the first time that revenue from mobile data has crossed the Sh50 billion mark.
The board has recommended a final dividend of Sh0.62 per share.