Vodacom Group Customers Increase, Drives Growth

The Vodacom Group is on its way to profitability as its data and international businesses make the largest contributions to growth.

"In the past year we've added more than eight million new customers, taking our active customer base to just shy of 60 million. Group revenue for the quarter was 18.3 billion rand, an increase of 4.3 per cent over last year," Vodacom group CEO Shameel Joosub said in a statement.

Vodacom is a telecommunications company headquartered and operational in South Africa but also has a customer base in Tanzania, Angola, Cameroon and Zambia, among others.

Group revenue increased 4.3 per cent to 18.2 million rand for the period ended 30 June 2014 from 17.5 million rand in the previous comparative period in 2013.

Group service revenue increased 1.8 per cent to 14.8 million rand, up 5.0 per cent excluding cuts in mobile termination rates, and group data revenue increased 23.2 per cent to 3.5 million rand, and currently 24.1 per cent of service revenue.

"Data continues to be a key growth driver with the number of active data customers increasing 69.5 per cent. Mobile data revenue including M-Pesa grew 51.1 per cent. We now have more than 6.6 million M-Pesa customers. We increased the number of 3G sites in our international operations by more than 50 per cent," Joosub explained.

Group active customers grew 15.6 per cent to 59.6 million and active data customers grew 36.7 per cent to 25.3 million.

Vodacom grew its South Africa customer base by 11 per cent, but revenue was however impacted by a high decrease in mobile termination rates.

The firm is nonetheless working on a price transformation strategy to bring down the overall price per minute by 25.3 per cent to 68 cents.

Revenue for the South Africa segment nevertheless grew 1.7 per cent to 14.7 million rand, and revenue for Vodacom's international segment was reported at 3.5 million rand for the period.

"We continue to make progress with our handset financing programme to put data capable devices into people's hands. The number of active smartphones and tablets on our network increased 19.3 per cent to 8.0 million devices," said Joosub.

"The average monthly data usage on smartphones increased 44.5 per cent to 312 megabytes per device and usage on tablets increased 43.0 per cent to 848 megabytes per device."

SOURCE: http://www.cnbcafrica.com/markets/earnings/2014/07/24/vodacom-results-quarterly-update/