Safaricom (NSE: SCOM) shareholders have today approved a record KES 74.92 billion dividend payout for the financial year ending March 31, 2019.
In one of the largest dividend payout, shareholders attending the company’s Annual General Meeting at Bomas of Kenya approved a special dividend of KES 0.62 per share, amounting to KES 24.84 billion and a final ordinary dividend of KES 1.25 per share that totals to KES 50.08 billion. This brings the total divided to be paid out to KES 1.87 a share.
“I am proud that the company has consistently paid out an increased dividend to shareholders since going public in 2008 and we have now paid out more than the KES 5 that the investors spent buying the shares,” said, Michael Joseph, CEO Safaricom. In the last financial year, Safaricom reported a 14.7% increase in net income to KES 63.4 billion with revenue hitting KES 240.3 billion.
To keep the momentum and to drive high internet connectivity coverage to customers, the company intends to spend over KES 36 billion this financial year rolling out an additional 2,030 4G and 4G+ base stations to reach more than 80 per cent of the population. “Part of the reason why we want to rollout in more areas is to ensure that, beyond the numbers we will get, we carry everyone along in providing access to affordable, quality, high-speed broadband, ” said Michael.
Safaricom became the first to roll out a 4G network in Kenya in 2014, and in June 2017, became the first in East Africa to upgrade its 4G network to 4G+. 4G provides customers with speeds of up to 100 Megabits per second with Safaricom’s 4G+ network supporting double the 4G speeds.
On investing back to the society, in the last one year, the Safaricom Foundation spent KES 434 million on 157 projects that transformed the lives of more than 185,513 individuals in the following areas: maternal and child health, non-communicable diseases, technical and vocational training, improving learning outcomes and youth economic empowerment.