Safaricom PLC has today registered a 19.5% increase in profit and total comprehensive income to KES 74.7 billion, while revealing that the company has paid about KES 810 billion in taxes and fees since inception.

This announcement came as Safaricom plans to launch a KES20 a day 4G smart phone package aimed at empowering millions of customers currently on 2G devices to upgrade and enjoy high speed internet connectivity, as the country marches towards the next level of innovation, embracing the use of 5G technology.

The campaign was made as the company released financial results for the year ended 31st March 2020 which saw the profit and total comprehensive income for the year grow 19.5%, but normalised for the exceptional share of profit of joint venture, at 14.3% YoY to KES71.7 billion with service revenue growing to KES 251.2billion.

The company also announced that it has so far utilized about KES 6.5 billion in a structured response to helping Kenyans through the Covid-19 pandemic, which has so far claimed the lives of 14 Kenyans, and infected close to 400. Safaricom is running the coronavirus hotline 719 in Kenya, and has also doubled home fiber download speeds, while also enabling citizens to pay for food and necessities using their Bonga Points, an accumulation and reward platform of the telecommunication giant.

Speaking about the 4G phone promotion, Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa said, “smartphone devices are critical in supporting the new realities brought about by COVID-19. This proposition aims to support Kenyans during and beyond this pandemic by enabling them access more opportunities, be it learning, working or running businesses from the comfort of their homes,” said Ndegwa.

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“Android’s goal has always been to bring the power of computing to everyone. Access to the opportunities the internet offers is critical for any nations’ economic growth and social inclusion. Majority of Kenyans and Africans at large access the internet via mobile broadband.

“In Kenya approximately 60% of the mobile phone install base is still on 2G feature phones and 40% smartphones with key barriers to people coming online being device and data affordability. We believe that this collaboration with Safaricom will bring more Kenyans access and the means to partake in the opportunities that exist online,” Mariama Abdullahi, Director, Android and Platforms Partnerships for Africa

This year’s Safaricom financial results were driven by growth in M-PESA revenue, which grew by 12.6% contributing 33.6% of the service revenue and mobile data which grew by 12.1% to KES 40.67billion.

On the future prospects of the company, Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa said, ‘The Covid-19 pandemic presents an opportunity for Safaricom to leverage its digital and data capabilities to support customers and communities during this period and through the recovery process.’

Ndegwa said that they would focus on the sectors of health, agriculture, education and essential services by developing a range of digital products and services that would offer sustainable solutions in these areas.