South Africa-based multinational mobile operator Vodacom Group has released its preliminary results for the year ending 31 March 2021, noting that in a year ‘unavoidably shaped by the devastating impacts of the global health crisis’, it had nonetheless booked an 8.3% increase in group revenue to ZAR98.3 billion (USD7.0 billion) from ZAR90.7 billion, with service revenue up 5.8% at ZAR77.6 billion supported by a strong performance in South Africa; its ‘International’ operations reported muted service revenue growth at 1.6%, though. Further, the carrier reported that EBITDA improved by 4.5% year-on-year to ZAR39.3 billion, again fuelled by gains in its home market, with an EBITDA margin of 40.0% (down 1.4pp), and net profit rose 2.6% to ZAR17.1 billion. However, net income from associates and joint ventures slumped 15.6% on an annualised basis to ZAR3.5 billion from ZAR4.2 billion previously. In addition, group operating profit fell 0.2% y-o-y impacted by a ZAR745 million prior year one-off related ‘to a purchase gain in terms of IFRS 3 for the M-Pesa Africa joint venture acquisition’. Full-year capital expenditure, meanwhile, reached ZAR13.3 billion, up 0.7% when compared to the ZAR13.2 billion it spent in the previous financial year.
Operationally speaking, Vodacom added a net 8.2 million new customers in the year under review, to service a combined 123.7 million customers across the group at 31 March 2021, including Safaricom. It also noted that the popularity of its mobile financial services continues to blossom, with 6.6 million net additions boosting the total 12.9% y-o-y to 57.7 million users.