A joint cash transfer platform operated by South Africa’s Vodacom Group and Safaricom Plc has recorded a surge in the six months ending 30th September 2020.
According to the Vodacom Group’s half-year interim results, 2020, the M-Pesa platform generated transaction volumes worth $ 20.5 billion a month.
During the period under review, Vodacom Group recorded an additional 4.1 million customers, bringing the total to 120 million customers across the Group, including Safaricom’s.
Total financial services customers, including Safaricom, was up 13.9% or 6.7 million to 54.8 million.
Free cash flow was up 92.1%, reflecting growth in cash generated from operations and the timing of the Safaricom dividend receipt.
According to Vodacom Group CEO Shameel Joosub, while initiatives such as free peer-to-peer (P2P) M-Pesa transactions, which the firm deployed when the pandemic broke out, hit performance of Vodacom’s international business, it also played an essential role in facilitating economic activity in South Africa.
He added that increased use of digital channels, including the M-Petsa platform, has contributed R8 billion in revenue during the period.
Vodacom’s strategic investment in Safaricom led to a 52.2% boost in the mobile firm’s operating profit, supported by currency factors and a one-off deferred tax rate adjustment.
In its interim report, Vodacom said Safaricom’s local currency results as a mirror of slowed economic activity and lower M-Pesa P2P transaction as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Safaricom accelerated capital expenditure by 25.5%, supported growth of its platform in Q2, compared to Q1, 2020.
Shareholders of Vodacom Group will receive a gross interim dividend of 415 cents per ordinary share for the quarter ending 30 September 2020.
This dividend will be payable on Monday 7 December 2020 to shareholders recorded in the register on or about Friday 4th December 2020.
Vodacom Group maintains its dividend policy of paying at least 90% of adjusted headline earnings, which excludes the contribution of the attributable net profit or loss from Safaricom.