South Africa-based mobile operator Vodacom Group reported that its consolidated revenue for the quarter ending 31 December 2017 climbed 6.7% year-on-year to ZAR22.6 billion (USD1.9 billion), while service revenue rose 5.5% to ZAR18.4 billion. The group attributed the increase to strong subscriber take-up: Vodacom added a net 2.5 million (active) customers across its operations in the period under review, of which 1.9 million were in its home market and 920,000 were at its international operations (Tanzania, Mozambique, Lesotho and Democratic Republic of Congo). The Group had a combined base of 73.6 million active mobile users at end-2017, up 13.0% y-o-y, with CEO Shameel Joosub noting: ‘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.’ The Vodacom official also pointed out that in its home market, the customer base grew 14.1% to 41.6 million, underpinned by ‘a resilient pre-paid voice market and a highly successful summer campaign’. Service revenue derived from its South African operations increased 4.9% to ZAR14.1 billion as data revenue climbed 8.7% to ZAR6.0 billion – contributing 42.3% of service revenue.
Vodacom’s international operations contributed service revenue of ZAR4.6 billion in the three months under review, up 8.7% on an annualised basis, the third consecutive quarter of accelerating growth, which it says was underpinned by strong growth in both data and (mobile money) M-Pesa revenue. Data revenue from Tanzania, Mozambique, Lesotho and Democratic Republic of Congo grew by 19.5% y-o-y, supported by a 26.9% increase (or 1.3 million) data customers in the quarter, to 16.0 million. Further, the Group confirmed that M-Pesa revenue continued to accelerate (up 33.3% to ZAR653 million), contributing 14.3% of service revenue, as it added a net 414,000 customers in the quarter, to 14.4 million.