May 3, 2019 / 5:36 AM / 22 days ago

Kenya's Safaricom FY earnings jump on upbeat M-Pesa growth

NAIROBI, May 3 (Reuters) - Safaricom, Kenya’s biggest telecoms operator, said on Friday its earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) for the full year rose to 89.6 billion shillings ($889.33 million) from 79.3 billion shillings in the previous year.

The company, which is partly owned by South Africa’s Vodacom and Britain’s Vodafone, said rapid growth in M-Pesa digital financial business had offset a sharp slowdown in the growth of its internet access provision business.

M-Pesa was launched more than a decade ago to offer Kenyans without bank accounts a network to transfer cash via mobile phones. It now offers a range of payment services, loans and savings to more than 21 million people in Kenya and has been copied abroad.

$1 = 100.7500 Kenyan shillings Reporting by Duncan Miriri, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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