CHANGE OF GUARD

Higher dividends for Safaricom investors as Ng'ang'a exits stage

The retiring chair has been replaced by Michael Joseph who represents Vodacom at the board

In Summary
  • The firm announced a total dividend payout of Sh56.09 billion.
  • The outgoing chair has been at Safaricom since 2007.
Safaricom Chairman Nicholas Nganga with company's CFO Sateesh Kamath at the release of the un-audited results for the Half year 2017/18 in Nairobi on November 3,2017.Photo/Enos Teche.
Safaricom Chairman Nicholas Nganga with company's CFO Sateesh Kamath at the release of the un-audited results for the Half year 2017/18 in Nairobi on November 3,2017.Photo/Enos Teche.

Outgoing Safaricom chairperson Nicholas Ng’ang’a  grew dividend payout for shareholders by 12 per cent  as he exited the stage after 13 years, handing the mantle to an insider and former chief executive, Michael Joseph.

At the company’s virtual Annual General Meeting yesterday, the head of East Africa’s most profitable company thanked shareholders for their support and announced a dividend payout of Sh1.40 per share up from Sh1.25 the previous year.

The firm announced a total dividend payout of Sh56.09 billion.

 
 

‘’I want to thank our shareholders, the board, and everyone at Safaricom for the support received throughout my tenor. This is my last AGM. Let me take this opportunity to congratulate the incoming chair, Michael Joseph, who is not a stranger at the firm,’’ Ng’ang’a said.

Safaricom posted a Sh74.7 billion net profit for the year ending March 31, 2020, representing a 19.5 percent growth in earnings from 2019.

The new record profit by the telco operator was largely attributed to growth from M-Pesa and data with the respective streams growing by 12.6 per cent and 12.1 per cent to stand at Sh84.4 billion and Sh40.7 billion respectively.

Announcing Michael’s appointment, Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa who took over from the former in April said the retiring chair has been instrumental in the monumental growth that the telco has experienced.

Ndegwa said Nganga took up the leadership at a time when the government was starting the process of offering 25 per cent of its shares to the public through the Nairobi Securities Exchange in 2008.

‘’He has managed to grow shareholder value by 607 per cent since listing, pushing the firm’s market capitalization to Sh1.075 trillion,  50 per cent  of all the listed firms on the NSE.

He added that   Ng’ang’a took over the board’s leadership when the firm has only six million subscribers, less than 1000 employees and eight centres but helped to grow users to 36.6 million with over 6,000 employees.

 
 

Ng’ang’a has overseen three CEO during his span at the telco, twice with the incoming chair and the late Bob Collymore who took charge from Michael Joseph in 2010 till his death in July last year.

Michael Joseph who is also board chair at Kenya Airways becomes will become among few people to chair two NSE listed firms.

In 2016, the Capital Market Authority (CMA) amended the code of corporate governance practices, prohibiting directors from holding the chairman post in more than two listed firms.