Nov. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Safaricom Ltd., East Africa’s biggest mobile-phone company, climbed to the highest level in close to two years after first-half profit almost doubled.
The stock rallied as much as 11 percent and closed trading 7.9 percent higher at 4.80 shillings in the capital, Nairobi, the strongest since January 2011.
Net income surged to 7.77 billion shillings ($91 million) in the six months through September, from 4.01 billion shillings a year earlier, the company said yesterday. The company raised its guidance for full-year earnings. Safaricom increased call charges in October 2011 for the first time in 11 years amid a weakening currency and accelerating inflation in East Africa’s biggest economy.
“Safaricom is expected to elicit positive investor sentiments,” Nairobi-based AIB Capital Ltd. said today in an e-mailed note to clients. “The management remains optimistic of its full year performance results.”
Voice revenue climbed 19 percent to 37.4 billion shillings, while data sales climbed 29 percent to 3.98 billion shillings. Income from MPESA, the company’s mobile money-transfer service, surged 32 percent to 10.4 billion shillings as the number of customers grew 2.4 percent to 15.2 million.
Shares in Safaricom, Kenya’s second-biggest company by market value, have rallied 63 percent this year, outperforming a 35 percent rise in the Nairobi Securities Exchange All-Share Index.
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