Nairobi, 30th July. Telco giant Safaricom (NSE: SCOM) has announced a total dividend payout of Ksh 56.09 billion for the financial year 2019 ended March 31st 2020.
Shareholders approved a dividend of Ksh 1.40 per ordinary share payable from August 31st 2020. The Government of Kenya which owns a 35% stake in the telco is expected to receive KES19.63 billion.
During FY 2019, Safaricom posted net profits of Ksh 71.7 Billion thanks to strong M-Pesa performance and increased mobile data uptake.
This signals the company’s growing financial position thanks to an innovative DNA and increased customer confidence in its products and services.
The company has consistently paid out an increased dividend to shareholders since going public in 2008.
Last year, shareholders approved a Ksh 24.84 billion bonanza in the form of a special dividend of KES 0.62 per share and a final ordinary dividend of KES 1.25 per share totalling to Ksh 50.08 billion.
Outgoing CEO Michael Joseph said that he is optimistic that the company will finish the year strong. He was speaking Wednesday, during the 12th Annual General Meeting which was held virtually.
During the virtual session, the telco’s board announced the retirement of Chairman Nicholas Nganga and the subsequent appointment of Michael Joseph to fill in his shoes.
Mr. Nganga took over the stewardship of the company 13 years ago at a time when it had a little over 1000 employees and only 6 million subscribers.
He now retires from a telco that is the country’s largest mobile operator with more than 35 million subscribers and nearly 7000 employees.
Since his appointment, Mr Nganga has managed to grow shareholder value by 607%. The telco now commands half of the capitalization of the Kenyan stock market at a whooping Sh1.14 trillion.
Safaricom says that its primary focus is to keep Kenyans connected. The telco’s boss Mr Peter Ndegwa says that this year, the company is targeting 100% of the population with 4G coverage.
He said that during the pandemic period, between March and July, the company added 637 new 4G sites.
At a time when many people are working and learning from home, the telco says that home fibre connections have spiked.
“During the COVID-19 period we have also been able to significantly increase home fibre by adding 25,000 new connections,” says Peter Ndegwa.
Mr Ndegwa is currently masterminding a device financing scheme dubbed ‘LipaMdogoMogo’ that will allow ordinary Kenyans to own 4G enabled devices for only Ksh 20 a day.
The 12th Annual General Meeting was Peter’s first session as the telco’s boss, although his real work began on April 1st 2020 when he replaced former CEO, Michael Joseph.