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Mobile money boosts Econet revenues in Zimbabwe

Mobile money boosts Econet revenues in Zimbabwe.

Econet Wireless, the biggest telecoms firm in Zimbabwe, has 780,000 additional subscribers for the year-end to February, it said on Monday, while revenues have risen 8% to $752.7 million.

The company notes it has around 9 million network users. Its other competitors, state run NetOne and privately owned Telecel Zimbabwe have just below 5 million subscribers shared between them.

Econet chief executive officer, Douglas Mboweni, said revenue from mobile voice telephony services have remained flat despite the surge in network user numbers.

“Although we added over 780 000 new subscribers over the last 12 months, they did not help to increase revenue,” said Mboweni.

Meanwhile, data and overlay services – under which the EcoCash mobile money platform is classified – now account for about 14% of the group’s revenue position.

“Broadband grew by 62% and EcoCash by 307%, contributing more than 14% to the overall revenue for the year,” said Econet.

User numbers for the EcoCash mobile money platform are also expected to have risen significantly from the 3 million reported earlier this year.

Other results point to after tax profits for the period having amounted to $119.4 million, the company said in a release sent to the media after the results briefing.

As a result, Econet – founded by SA based Zimbabwean telecommunications tycoon, Strive Masiyiwa – plans to pay a 1.29 cents (US$) dividend to its shareholders.

This is the first time the company has paid a dividend in the past three years.

Econet; though, has to settle over $200 million in debts owed to international banks. The money was borrowed for investment into network expansion and capacity enhancement programmes.

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