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Econet slows down as Zim economy stagnates

Econet slows down as Zim economy stagnates.

The telcos' revenues increased marginally by 4.2% to $392.3 million.

Telecoms firm Econet Wireless is feeling the pinch of Zimbabwe's struggling economy after reporting a 30% decline in half year profits for the period to the end of August.  

Zimbabwe's largest telco now has 9 million subscribers and 3.7 million users on its mobile money platform, EcoCash.

Executives at the company say non-voice platforms were now providing 21% of the company's revenues, up by 10% from the same period last year.

Zimbabwe's rising mobile penetration rate had brought about saturation in a market in which Econet competes against state run NetOne and VimpelCom owned Telecel Zimbabwe.

There has also been disruptive competition from instant messaging and social media platforms whose prominence has increased, forcing Telecel and Econet to come up with unlimited bundles for Facebook and WhatsApp.

“We had anticipated the trend away from traditional income streams. We then took a strategic decision to steer the business towards innovations that would become new sources of growth for our business,” Econet chief executive officer, Douglas Mboweni, said at a briefing of the company's financials on Thursday.

Mboweni said however that “voice services would remain a critical service offering and would continue to receive the appropriate attention,” with new resources being invested to “improve quality of service” and customer care.
 
Econet Wireless group chairman, James Myers said the telco would "continue to invest in new products and services that allow for the continued growth of revenues through innovative" services.

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