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Econet's data strategy pays off

Econet's data strategy pays off

Roy Chimanikire, CFO at Econet Wireless says the Zimbabwean telecoms and media group has a "lot of data at its disposal" which it can use to drive up revenues across its operational segments.

Econet today reported a substantial rise in after-tax profits from US$36.2 million in 2017 to US$132.3 million for the financial year to end February 2018. This was based on a year-on-year revenue increase to US$831.6 million, up from US$621.7 million.

In this period the company increased data revenue by 18% to US$144.8 million, while its Steward Bank unit and EcoCash mobile money service also experienced growth.

Steward Bank, which is building its operation on digital offerings - including Facebook banking, reported that profits for the same period had increased from US$6.1 million to US$22.4 million.

It says it now has 600 000 digital banking subscribers.

The EcoCash mobile money platform has 8 million registered users, with continued strong competition from Telecash operated by Telecel Zimbabwe, and the re-launched OneMoney platform run by state-owned rival NetOne.

This has helped the company drum up revenue from the non-voice category.

"We have doubled our non-voice contribution. Voice is now about 40 percent of business revenue," Chimanikire added.

Econet now has approximately 19% more data subscribers at 7.2 million and its total mobile network subscribers is 11.4 million as at the end of February 2018.

Chimanikire said the company would increase its data capacity to drive broadband and video-on-demand services. The company's Kwese TV offering now has access data bundles that allow subscribers to view Netflix and iflix.

"It is expected that about 60% of all data will be driven by mobile video. The content and the video side of the business has to be very strong," he said.

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