Safaricom of Kenya first-half profit jumps on data revenue

Safaricom Ltd., Kenya’s biggest company by market value, posted a 23 percent increase in first-half profit as mobile-data revenue surged.

Net income climbed to 18.1 billion shillings ($177 million) in the six months through September from 14.7 billion shillings a year earlier, Chief Executive Officer Bob Collymore told reporters in the capital, Nairobi. Safaricom, which is 40 percent-owned by Newbury, England-based Vodafone Plc, sees full-year profit at 36.5 billion shillings, compared with 31.9 billion shillings previously.

The number of customers at East Africa’s biggest mobile- phone operator jumped 15 percent to 25.1 million subscribers, which boosted total revenue by 23 percent to 97.2 billion shillings. Income from mobile data services increased 41 percent to 9.16 billion shillings, as earnings from its mobile-money transfer service, known as M-Pesa, climbed 24 percent to 19.4 billion shillings.

– Bloomberg [Felix Njini]