IN BRIEF : Kenya’s Safaricom pretax profit rises 1.7%

Kenya’s leading mobile operator Safaricom’s (SCOM.NR) pretax profit nudged up 1.7 percent in its first half ended September to $120.6 million. Ranked the No.1 firm in East Africa by market value, Safaricom said revenues increased to 40.6 billion shillings.

Kenya’s leading mobile operator Safaricom’s (SCOM.NR) pretax profit nudged up 1.7 percent in its first half ended September to $120.6 million.

Ranked the No.1 firm in East Africa by market value, Safaricom said revenues increased to 40.6 billion shillings.

Chief Executive Officer Michael Joseph said the results were attained despite tough conditions caused by a severe drought in East Africa’s biggest economy.

“It has been tough for all businesses across Kenya,” he told investors, adding Safaricom would further expand its services.

“The company will deliver an excellent set or results by year-end,” Joseph added.

Safaricom’s subscriber numbers grew to 14.5 million or 77 percent of market share, down from 81 percent last year, he said.   Safaricom is part owned by Britain’s Vodafone (VOD.L), the Kenyan government and other investors.

The company said this week the first Ksh5 billion tranche of its five-year Ksh12 billion bond issue was 50 percent oversubscribed.

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