Mobile operator Vodacom announced on Wednesday (8 February 2012) a 12.2% rise in overall group revenue for the quarter ended December 2011, to R17.997 billion.
The group also highlighted record net customer additions of 5.0 million in the quarter, with group customers up 27.3% to 52.9 million.
Vodacom noted a 41.2% increase in group active data customers to 13.8 million and data revenue increased 23.8% to R2.082 billion.
Equipment revenue was particularly strong, growing 19.4%, the group said.
South Africa delivered a solid performance with service revenue growing 5.6% to R12.755 billion (7.9% excluding the impact of cuts in mobile termination rates).
Customers increased 25.4% year on year to 31.7 million, a record net increase of 2.8 million in the quarter.
Service revenue growth was boosted by strong net customer additions, higher voice revenue growth and good performance in data and enterprise services.
South African data revenue growth slowed to 19.3% year on year to R1.929 billion. “The active data customers increased 31.5% to 11.4 million; a third of these customers are now buying data bundles compared to a quarter a year ago,” Vodacom said.
The group said that demand for smartphones remains high, with 655,000 devices activated during the quarter. “We now have 4.8 million active smartphones on the network, which as of 31 December 2011 accounted for 18.0% of all active devices.”
Pieter Uys, Vodacom Group CEO commented: “This was a good quarter for Vodacom, with a record increase in our customers of five million pushing us past the 50 million customers milestone. Overall Group revenue increased 12% to R18 billion.
“The South African business defied the somewhat gloomy economic conditions and achieved a 25% increase in customers, ending the quarter at 32 million customers. More than nine billion voice minutes were carried over the three month period.
“The success of our summer campaigns, targeted promotions and very attractive handset deals boosted customer additions, particularly in the rural areas.
“The strong growth in customers and data usage helped offset the year to date reduction of 16% in both voice and data prices.
“Our International operations maintained the positive momentum and accounted for more than 40% of the increase in our total customers.
“Network investment continued to be a major focus with on-going upgrades to our transmission and radio access networks supporting the 41% increase in group data customers. Vodacom now delivers data connectivity to nearly 14 million people,” he said.