Vodacom sees revenue spike thanks to data

Vodacom is one step closer to a Neotel tie-up. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)
Vodacom is one step closer to a Neotel tie-up. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

Cape Town - Vodacom Group said first-quarter revenue increased 7% as data sales from international operations helped ease pressure on growth in its domestic market.

Sales rose to R19.6bn ($1.6bn) in the three months through June, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement on Thursday. Data revenue increased 35% to R4.8bn.

“We invested another R2.4bn in the network this quarter," CEO Shameel Joosub said in the statement. This increased data traffic growth in South Africa and even more so in the international operations, he said.

Vodacom, which is 65% owned by England- based Vodafone, is expanding in sub-Saharan Africa to counter regulatory pressure on sales growth in SA, where it's the market leader in terms of subscriber numbers.

The operator received anti-trust approval to acquire internet provider Neotel in June as it seeks to offer new services in the country while adding small-to-medium sized business customers.

Vodacom's active customer numbers rose 6.5% to 63.5 million across the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Mozambique and Tanzania as well as its home market.

South Africa sales gained 5.5% while revenue from the other markets increased 14%.

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