Kenya’s biggest telecommunications operator, Safaricom, has lowered its full-year forecast for earnings due to its investment in Ethiopia.
The firm, which is part owned by Vodacom Group, expects earnings before interest and taxes to come in at KSh97-billion to KSh100-billion, CEO Peter Ndegwa said.
The group had initially issued a guidance of KSh105-billion to KSh108-billion. Excluding its investment in Ethiopia, where it plans to launch services in mid-2022, the core earnings will be KSh107-billion to KSh110-billion, Ndegwa said.
Core earnings for the first half to the end of September rose by more than a quarter to KSh57.9-billion, said Dilip Pal, the firm’s chief financial officer.
During the first half, service revenue increased by 16.9% to KSh138.4-billion, buoyed by a 45.8% jump in revenue from its financial business M-Pesa, Pal said.
Safaricom led a consortium that secured Ethiopia’s second telecoms operator licence in May, by paying US$850-million.
It has been putting together a small team to spearhead the launch of the network next year, but it is now focusing on ensuring the safety of those workers, Ndegwa said, after conflict between the government and rebellious northern forces intensified in recent weeks.
He added, however, that they were hoping that the crisis in Ethiopia will be resolved soon, enabling them to tap the vast opportunities offered by that market. — Reported by Duncan Miriri, (c) 2021 Reuters