Wednesday, August 25, 2010


This whole Safaricom thing got me thinking after @MainaTs tweet. What is the effect of

Safaricom reducing its tarriffs on its bottom line?

Well. Heres my completely unprofessional, paper napkin analysis based on Safaricoms results announcement, a huge (30MB) PDF file which you can find here:

Hopefully someone will build on this.

OK, first things first, lets assume:
1. No change in subscribers (or their peculiar habits) i.e subscriber numbers remain constant
2. No change in consumption and consumption patterns, so the number of minutes remains constant as does the ratio on on to off net calls

OK, The statistics now, page (or slide) 21, Total Gross revenue is 83 Billion, Page 22 breaks it down so we have 63 Bilion of this attributable to voice. Thats roughly 75%

Back to page 21. Net profit is 15 Billion. 75% of this is 11 Billion.

OK, page 10, Safaricom has roughly 16 Million subscribers.

11 Billion divided by 16 million subscribers... Thats Ksh 688 per subscriber (On Page 22 Safaricom reports a voice ARPU of Ksh.356 so I may be wrong)

Lets further assume that the tarrif was Ksh. 8 per minute, Ksh.688 divided by Ksh. 8 per minute gives you an average of 86 minutes per user per year (a very rough approximation complicated by the Supa Ongea "dynamic tarriff" nonsense)

Lets use the new tarrif, Ksh 3 x 86 minutes per user, per year x 16 million users.

That gives you roughly 4 billion, a 63% drop from the 11 billion , (which is basically the drop from Shs.8 to Shs. 3 per minute).

There is however a little mitgation. Interconnection charges went down by half, so that gives Safaricom a Ksh 2 Billion saving (see page 24)

This would push the profit up to 6 Billion and reduce the drop to 5 Billion (45%).

Safaricom has free cashflows of 6 Billion (Page 20)

Not too bad is it? Well, the problem is that the ratios, those percentage drops could spook the market. The ARPU would also go down and thats a pretty important metric for a telco.

The Business Daily today also raised another interesting point, Safaricom lost a big dealer to Orange recently, if demand for Safaricom airtime wanes, more dealers may follow suit. This may be a serious problem for Big Green.

Zap has better merchant integration than M-Pesa (the KPLC and Nairobi Water time delays being a case in point) more Zap dealers will threaten Safaricoms dominance in this sector. M-Pesa is basically a customer retention tool (its about 9% of Safaricoms total revenue [Page 21]) so this is bad.

In short, things are thick for big green, the timing is also tricky, Bob Collymore clearly needs to hit the ground running.

In the meantime, apparently there was a Zain truck parked outside Safaricom HQ with packed with speakers blaring loud music, Specifically the Song "Bendover", check it out!


Spartan Cat said...

Nice piece good read!! the safcom results link is broken bro

Mwirigi said...

Thanks!! Fixed the broken link!

Nahabi said...

Nice one ... but the inconsistent line breaks make it hard to read


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