Worldwide

South Africa's Vodacom H1 earnings inch up 1%

South Africa's Vodacom H1 earnings inch up 1%”

EBIT increased 18.6 percent (2.2%) to ZAR 988 million, while the EBIT margin expanded by 2.3 percentage points to 11.5 percent.

"We now also have 3.3 million sim card connections in our Internet of Things offerings", said Vodacom CEO, Shameel Joosub.

Contract customers increased by 107,000 in the time period, up to 5.2 million.

The group added 4.3 million customers during the first half, 2.9 million in South Africa and 1.4 million in its global operations, to reach just over 71 million customers, up 11.8 percent.

Vodacom said Tanzania remains the leader in global operations with 61.7% of customers using M-Pesa. "This growth in both areas shows that our segmented markets approach and the delivery of greater value through innovative personalised bundles is continuing to produce results". It increased normalised service revenue by 4.6%, boosted by a strong increase in customer gains in South Africa and significant gains in data and M-Pesa revenue internationally. This is an increase from just two countries in 2015 (Kenya & Tanzania).

Revenue for worldwide operations declined 5.2% and service revenue declined 4.8%; however, on a normalised basis, revenue and service revenue grew 5% and 5.5% respectively.

In addition to increasing data network speeds and improving data coverage, the group said it retained a strong focus on providing customers with access to better, low-priced smart devices, by promoting Vodacom-branded devices. M-Pesa added 1.1 million customers in the first half of the year, reaching 14.8 million.

"Our pricing transformation strategy and targeted personalised offers continue to provide customers with greater value", it said. It continues to focus on improving data monetisation in all markets as demand grows rapidly. Of these, 800m were voice bundles, with the effective price per minute falling by 10.9%. Data bundle sales grew by 55.5% to 347m. Improved in-bundle usage has resulted in a 24.2% reduction in the effective price per megabyte, it said. Migration to the new "more data" contracts, which have a larger data allocation, accelerated to 25% of the base.

"Additional spectrum will allow us to invest more efficiently and accelerate our rural coverage programme".

Vodacom invested R3.9bn in its network and IT systems in South Africa in the six-month period.



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