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Data drives healthy growth for Vodacom

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The Vodacom Group increased its active customers by 6,8% to 65,1-million for the six months ended 30 September 2015.
The organisation also increased group revenue by 6,4% and service revenue by¬† increased revenue by 4,9%. South Africa’s revenue increased 5,1% while international operations’ revenue grew 12,6%; representing 21,3% of group revenue.
Data revenue was up a massive 35%.
Shameel Joosub, group CEO of Vodacom, comments: “It has been a strong start to the year with sustained growth underpinned by network superiority, customer value management excellence and distribution leadership.
“We lifted group capital expenditure 5.8% to R6.2 billion, expanding 3G coverage in all our markets. In South Africa, LTE/4G coverage increased from 32,2% to 46,8%. We have already seen the customer experience improve significantly, creating a 17 point lead in Net Promoter Score (NPS) between us and our nearest competitor.
“Group revenue increased 6,4% supported by customer growth of 6,8% to 65,1-million. Group EBITDA growth increased 13% due to excellent commercial execution, solid progress with our structured multi-year cost saving programme and a weaker prior year first half comparative. EBITDA growth was also boosted by the savings realised from the several actions we took in the second half last year to reduce costs.
“In our international operations, we achieved good customer growth of 10,6%. Service revenue reached double digit growth of 12,4%, stepping up from 7,4% in the second half of last year.
“I am most encouraged by the increasing demand for data services as we make devices and data bundles more affordable. We now have 28,3-million data users across the group, driving a 33,5% increase in data revenue. Our LTE/4G customers in South Africa, now approaching 2-million, consume almost three times more data as compared with 3G customers.”
Joosub adds that there are good opportunities ahead, with only 66% of monthly active customers in South Africa using data and the company’s share in fixed services only a fraction of what it is in mobile.
“The performance of Vodacom Business in South Africa was particularly strong with underlying service revenue growth of 12.8%, underpinned by new customer wins as well as our mobile customers choosing to purchase fixed services from us as they trust our brand and value network reliability,” he says.
“Neotel, which is pending Competition Tribunal approval, will further enhance our ability to contribute meaningfully to the development of fixed-line services, broadband and fibre to homes and businesses in South Africa.
“In the second half, we plan to invest more into fibre and other new growth areas by building the right capability to ensure we sustain growth into the next year.”