Vodacom boosts profit as it hits 40 million subscribers in SA

Reuters

The Vodafone-owned mobile phone company added 4.3 million customers during the first half of the year, 2.9 million in South Africa and 1.4 million in its worldwide operations, which include Mozambique, Lesotho, Tanzania and the DRC.

Normalised service revenue grew by 4.6%, boosted by a strong increase in customer gains in South Africa and significant gains in data and M-Pesa revenue internationally.

Capital expenditure was ZAR 5.4 billion, representing 12.8 percent of revenue, and headline earnings per share (HEPS) was up 1.1 percent to ZAR 4.45 per share.

"This growth in both areas shows that our segmented markets approach and the delivery of greater value through innovative personalised bundles is continuing to produce results", said Shameel Joosub, Vodacom Group CEO.

"The sale of smartphones grew by 18.3%, comprising 59.5% of total device sales", the report read. Revenue was up 4.6% at ZAR41.99 billion, it added.

Regarding its worldwide operations, exchange rate volatility negatively impacted growth.

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Contract customers increased by 107,000 in the time period, up to 5.2 million.

Joosub added that the group had delivered on its promises to reduce data prices and addressing out-of-bundle prices. 4G customers on its network increased 62.8% to 6.0 million, while the average monthly data usage on smart devices increased 19.5% to 776MB. "Without new spectrum, we are forced to build more base stations to meet data growth demand".

Data revenue grew by 15.0% to R11.4 billion, contributing 42.6% of service revenue. Service revenue declined by 4.8% to R8.3bn.

Over the six-month period, Vodacom invested R3.9 billion to maintain its network lead and enhance its IT systems. Exchange rate volatility continues to dent reported growth in worldwide operations.

The company battled unfavourable currency headwinds, which took some shine off its global operations, with revenue and service revenue declining 5.2% and 4.8%, respectively. Normalised revenue growth was 4.6%.

"We added 1.1 million customers in the first half of the year, reaching 14.8 million". "Tanzania remains the leader in global operations with 61.7% of customers using M-Pesa", the report read.

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