November 11, 2022

Safaricom Ethiopia anticipates reaching one million customers by mid-November

City: Addis AbabaTechNews

Due to its entry into Ethiopia, in addition to other factors, Safaricom's net profit for the six months ending in September declined by 10%

Avatar: Ilyas Kifle
By Ilyas Kifle

Ilyas is a reporter at Addis Zeybe experienced in creative writing and content production.

Safaricom Ethiopia anticipates reaching one million customers by mid-November
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Credit: Addis Zeybe (Anwar Soussa (right), CEO of Safaricom Ethiopia, and Peter Ndegwa (left), CEO of Safaricom PLC.)

Safaricom Ethiopia, the first private telecom operator in Ethiopia, estimates to reach more than one million customers next week. 

“As of today [Nov 11], our number of customers is running around 900 thousand. In the coming week, we estimate it will reach more than one million customers,” Anwar Soussa, CEO of Safaricom Ethiopia told Addis Zeybe.  

Safaricom launched its network in Ethiopia at the end of August and started its national commercial operation in October.

Safaricom PLC released its half-year report in Nairobi, Kenya today. Safaricom Ethiopia, which had just been in commercial operation for one month at the end of the financial reporting cycle, has demonstrated momentum, onboarding 740,000 customers as of October 31 and generating more than $800,000 USD.

Addis Zeybe forwarded a question to Safaricom Ethiopia’s CEO during the report about the company’s plans following the peace accord, which would stabilize the country's northern region.

The CEO said that the operator has already made plans for Ethiopia's northern region which has been affected by conflict for the past two years. Anwar Soussa opined the peace accord is an excellent chance for all parties involved and that Safaricom Ethiopia would begin offering its services after providing humanitarian help and preserving lives.

Due to a reduction in the mobile termination rate (MTR) and greater costs related to entry into Ethiopia, Safaricom's net profit for the six months ending in September declined by 10% to USD 270 million.

Its overall revenue increased by 4.% to 1.2 billion USD over the period, and M-Pesa's revenue surged by 8.7% to 468 million USD.

“We face macroeconomic-related headwinds like inflation, currency depreciation, and slower GDP growth amongst others in both Kenya and Ethiopia. In Kenya we continue to drive targeted customer value propositions, providing them more value for the same price points,” Peter Ndegwa, CEO of Safaricom PLC.

According to the Chief Financial Officer of Safaricom, Dilip Pal, Safaricom has consistently been optimizing its pricing over the years to ensure that the company drives affordability and usage. 

“This has been well received by our customers amidst the tough macro environment with the rising inflation. It also goes to cement our commitment to supporting our customers during difficult periods to still enjoy the convenience of our products,” said Dilip Pal.

Safaricom has not changed its forecast for the entire fiscal year ending in March 2023; it now anticipates pre-tax profits to be in the 714–763 million USD range. According to estimates, the total capital expenditures for the year, including the funding of the Ethiopia expansion, ranged between 820 million and 886 million USD.