Vodacom released its interim results for the six months ended 30 September 2013, which showed that group revenue was up 6.6%.
Vodacom South Africa’s revenue increased by 6.0% year-on-year to R30 134 million, driven by a 41.2% growth in equipment revenue from smartphone and tablet sales.
Vodacom increased its contract customers by 2.2% to 4.8 million. If one includes M2M subscribers, the contract customer base increased 6.2% to 6.1 million.
Vodacom also showed a net gain in active prepaid customers of 927 000 in the six months ended 30 September 2013.
Vodacom South Africa now has 30.139 million active customers.
Strong data growth
Vodacom SA grew its active data customers to 15.1 million, up 13.4% over the same period last year.
Data revenue in SA increased by 20.6% to R5 096 million, contributing 21.5% (2012: 17.8%) to service revenue.
“We have further reduced pricing on all our bundles during this period resulting in a 108.4% growth in the number of bundles sold. The effective price per megabyte has reduced by 16.3%,” Vodacom said.
Vodacom said that its focus on handset financing to drive smartphone penetration has led to a 24.0% growth of these devices, with 6.6 million now active on the network. The average monthly usage has also increased 78.9% to 220 MB per device.
Bigger 3G network
Vodacom SA’s capital investment during the reporting period was R3 058 million.
“Our investment concentrated on increasing the reach of our data network and improving network capacity and resilience through self-provided high speed transmission,” Vodacom said.
“Our 3G data network now covers 88.9% of the population from 83.6% in the prior year. Our site roll out continues with the addition of 407 sites to total 6 574 3G sites and our LTE network now comprises 727 sites.”
Vodacom has self-provided an additional 536 sites (69% of sites are now on self-provided transmission) to increase capacity for future traffic demands and to reduce our transmission costs.
Vodacom has also improved voice capacity with the addition of 283 sites to our 2G network.
Vodacom results highlights
- Group revenue up 6.6% (7.5%*) and service revenue up 2.0% (3.2%*); strong growth in International operations and improved growth trends in South Africa.
- Group active customers increased 9.7% to 53.8 million; with net connections of 949 000 for South Africa and 2.3 million in our International operations for the six months period.
- Group data revenue growth of 29.0%; driven by bundle sales and integrated offers.
- South Africa revenue up 6.0%; supported by 41.2% increase in equipment sales and data revenue growth of 20.6%.
- International operations (excluding Gateway Carrier Services1) maintaining strong growth momentum; service revenue up 34.7% (17.2%*) and EBITDA growth of 39.2% (24.8%*).
- Group EBITDA grew 9.6% at top end of guidance.
- Capital investment of R4.9 billion, supporting a 23.8% increase in outgoing voice traffic and increase in data usage of more than 80%.
- Headline earnings per share up 10.9% as a result of strong operating profit growth.
- Interim dividend per share of 395 cents.