Data continues to aid Vodacom growth

Vodacom waarsku dat die mark baie mededingend is.
Vodacom waarsku dat die mark baie mededingend is.

Johannesburg - South Africa’s biggest mobile network Vodacom [JSE:VOD] reported service revenue growth of 5.3% in the six months to end-September 2016 on Monday, attributing this to a 2.3 million rise in active customers since March 2016.

Group revenue up was 4.1%, while international operations service revenue increased by 5.4%.

South African service revenue lifted 5.6%, aided by a strong growth of 1.5 million active customers in the period.

READ: Vodacom in new BEE listing on the JSE

Contributing to overall growth was the 18.7% surge in group data revenue, which Vodacom chief executive officer Shameel Joosub said was supported by strong network investment.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation were up by 4.1% to R15 278m with margins flat at 38.1%.

Headline earnings per share stood flat at 440 cents, negatively impacted by a tax adjustment in Tanzania and foreign currency impacts.

READ: Vodacom in R5bn gov't contract - sources

Internationally, service revenue increased by 5.4% to R8 725m, impacted by customer registration requirements and exchange rate volatility. 

International operations benefited from increased voice revenue of 5.0% as well as 15.5% growth in data revenue, driven by personalised Just 4 You offers and continued network investment.

Joosab said that the group had delivered a pleasing set of results despite current tough economic conditions.

“We believe that the great offers available through our personalised 'Just 4 You' platform has improved the value perceptions with customers and contributed to the strong 5.7% growth in active customers,” he said.

READ: Vodacom sales gain on network investment

During a briefing on the results, Vodacom for the first time addressed government’s published ICT white paper policy which seeks to establish a single public-private sector owned wireless open access network (WOAN) and also aims to make broadband cheaper and more accessible.

“As it now stands, we do not believe the White Paper will achieve these objectives. The White Paper proposes a telecommunications ecosystem that is untested and unproven anywhere in the world,” Joosub said. 

“We suggest a hybrid model which will also allow smaller players access to the spectrum,” he said.

Reserve price on spectrum auction is at R3bn. 

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