South Africa’s dominant operator Telkom this morning reported operating profits ZAR5.18 billion (USD842 million) for the six months to 30 September 2004, a rise of more than 19% over the same period of 2003, as total revenues grew by 7.4% to ZAR21.52 billion (USD3.5 billion). As a result the company said headline earnings per share soared by 60% to 536.9 cents, from 335.9 cents a year ago. Strong operating revenues enabled the company to reduce its net debts by ZAR2.3 billion, as well as allowing it to spend ZAR1.69 billion repurchasing Telkom shares. Group capital expenditure for the six months reached ZAR2.075 billion.
Whilst Telkom’s fixed line business posted only modest growth in revenues, its mobile subsidiary Vodacom recorded a 20.3% increase in turnover to ZAR13.6 billion, and a 13.4% rise in EBITDA to ZAR4.19 billion. Vodacom claimed 11.3 million customers in South Africa at the end of September, up from 9.73 million six months earlier and 8.5 million at the end of September 2003. Of the total, 9.7 million are pre-paid customers.