Johannesburg - South Africa’s biggest mobile network Vodacom [JSE:VOD] has reported group revenue growth of 7.5% across its operations with its data revenues climbing 26.7%.
The company released its preliminary results for the year ended March 31 2016 which reported that its total revenue across its African and South African operations increased from R74.5bn to R80bn for the financial year.
Vodacom’s African markets range from Mozambique to Lesotho and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
In South Africa specifically, Vodacom reported that its revenue grew at 5.2% to reach R62.3bn thanks to a 6.2% increase in equipment sales. Vodacom South Africa also recorded a 4.9% increase in service revenue to R49.3bn as the business returned to growth following a 50% cut in mobile termination rates (MTRs).
Vodacom Group also reported that its headline earnings per share (HEPS) - which is a measure of profit in South Africa - is up 2.7% to 883 cents per share. Vodacom has said that its HEPS, though, was “negatively impacted by remeasurement of foreign currency denominated intergroup loans and one-off BEE charges”.
But it’s Vodacom’s data services business which has recorded among its strongest growth. Data revenue for the group increased 27.7% to R17.3bn with data traffic growth of 46.8% for the period.
“Affordability of devices and data bundles led to a 46.8% increase in data traffic as data bundle sales jumped 85.9%. Our personalised 'Just 4 You' offers, part of our wider pricing transformation strategy, assisted in improved voice revenue trends, while at the same time reducing effective price per minute by 16.9%,” said Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub in a statement to shareholders.
Meanwhile, in terms of subscriber numbers, Vodacom said that its base in South Africa increased by 2.1 million over the year to 34.2 million connections, which entrenches its dominance in the country.
Across its African operations, Vodacom reported that it experienced a “slight decline in customers to 61.3 million” over the period owing to several countries moving to deactivate unregistered SIM cards.
Other highlights of Vodacom’s results include that its group Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation ammortisation) grew 12.8% to R30.3bn, its group capital expenditure - which focused on LTE expansion - was R12.9bn for the period and its group data revenue was up 28.5%.
Vodacom’s final dividend for the year is 400 cents, which takes its total dividend to 795 cents per share for the year is Group data revenue up 28.5%, supported by strong network investment.