Vodacom reports a 6,7% increase in group revenue, to R22,6-billion, for the quarter ended 31 December 2017.
Service revenue was up 5,5% to R18,4-billion and data revenue rose 9,7% to R6,6-billion, while international data revenue grew by 19,5%.
During the quarter, Vodacom added 2,5-million active customers, 1,6-million in South Africa and 900 000 inn its international operations. This brings the total of active customers witin the group to 73,6-million, up 13% year-on-year.
The group’s South African operation grew service revenue by 4,9% to R14,1-billion, while international service revenue grew 8,7% to R4,6-billion in its third consecutive quarter of accelerating growth.
Shameel Joosub, Vodacom group CEO, comments: “Our strategy of sustained investment into our network and improving customer experience has delivered solid gains in customer numbers in South Africa, and driven growth in our international operations, resulting in stronger growth in group revenue of 6,7%.
“In South Africa, our customer base grew 14,4% to 41,6-million, contributing to the 6,2% increase in revenue, underpinned by a resilient pre-paid voice market and a highly successful summer campaign.
“During the quarter we delivered on our promise to reduce out-of-bundle data prices, evidence of our commitment to reduce the cost-to-communicate through our pricing transformation journey; this resulted in a 24,2% decline in effective data prices for the year.
“In order to compensate for the expected shortfall in revenue, we have undertaken a range of initiatives to stimulate usage. Monthly trends towards the end of the quarter show that this is having the desired effect.”
International operations, driven by customer growth, a demand for data and a solid performance from M-Pese, continue to gain momentum, Joosub adds.
“Data revenue grew 19,5%, supported by our strategy to increase smartphone penetration through improved device affordability. Further new services contributed to a 33,3% jump in revenue from the M-Pesa mobile money platform.
“Growth was further supported by an 11% increase in customers, resulting in revenue from international increasing by 9,3%, a third consecutive quarter of accelerating growth.”
In terms of South African regulation, Joosub says that Vodacom will be submitting a detailed response to the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services (DTPS) regarding its proposed amendments to the Electronic Communications Act.
“We remain of the opinion that a hybrid between what is currently in place and the proposed Wholesale Open Access Network (WOAN) addresses the government’s transformation mandate and will have a greater impact on driving down the cost to communicate for customers compared with the proposed amendments to the Electronic Communications Act (ECA).”