Vodacom announced a rise in diluted earnings per share to 394.6 cents for the 6 months ended. It revealed that its group active customers grew 20.8% to 50.1 million, and its group service revenue rose 6.9% to R29.67 billion, while its operating profit rose 22.8% at R8.97 billion. It also recorded a service revenue growth of 1.3% to R23.8 billion in South Africa.
Group CEO of Vodacom, Shameel Joosub, described the results as “great”‚ with remarkable progress in the traditional voice business and strong performances in the data and International segments lifting overall revenue growth.
“We also controlled costs well‚ with the end result that despite aggressive competition and an inflationary cost environment‚ we actually managed to increase margins‚” Shameel said.
“Thanks to our proactive added value approach‚ particularly the use of voice and data promotions‚ traffic growth in South Africa more than offset the impact of lower prices. Our strategy of driving smartphone penetration and data usage is working well‚ with the number of active smartphones in South Africa growing 36% and the average amount of data used by each of those handsets up 46%. Across the Group‚ only 35% of our active customer base is using data so we’re still very much at the beginning of this growth trend‚” he added.
Vodacom also revealed revenue growth of 3.7% and attributed this mainly to increased sales of high-end smartphones.
Data revenue increased 13.5% to R4. 22 billion‚ contributing 17.7% to service revenue compared to 15.8% a year ago. Data traffic grew 42.5% which more than offset a 24.2% reduction in average effective price per megabyte.
Shameel also noted that the International operations performed extremely well with strong commercial propositions and the benefits of scale resulting in significantly higher margins.
“Very importantly‚ underpinning the growth in all areas of the business was an increase in investment. Network leadership is a crucial part of Vodacom’s strategy and a key differentiator. We increased the number of 3G base stations in the Group by more than 22% and thanks to the foundations laid over the past few years we were the first to launch LTE services in South Africa”.