Senior Safaricom executives focused on progress in building its business in Ethiopia along with a group wide transformation effort in fiscal 2024 (the year to end-March), a period when it booked gains in key earnings.

Chiefs asserted the company is on track to meet an Ethiopian coverage commitment of 55 per cent of the population by June, having hit 38 per cent at end-March with 2,806 sites deployed.

Safaricom entered the market in 2022.

Particular attention was paid to the popularity of its m-Pesa service, which launched in August 2023 and had 4.5 million registered users at end-March.

CEO Peter Ndegwa stated Safaricom is “proud” of what it achieved in Ethiopia “in a relatively short span of time”.

“Our focus on scaling operations for Ethiopia’s digital future has been instrumental in driving our growth.”

Ndegwa also noted Safaricom “remained committed” to societal transformation, along with overhauling its own processes with “agile ways of working”.

Chair Adil Arshed Khawaja praised Safaricom’s “resilience” in a period marked by “volatile foreign exchange rates” and an overall “tough operating environment”.

He said management efforts to make the company a “purpose-led technology” player continued to enjoy the full backing of the board, while pressing for a “harmonised business environment” between Ethiopia and Safaricom’s home market, Kenya.

Profit attributable to shareholders rose very slightly from KES62.3 billion ($474.2 million) at the close of fiscal 2023 to KES63 billion, with revenue increasing from KES310.9 billion to KES349.4 billion.