South African telco Vodacom has reported that its international operations have delivered “very strong operational performance”, with revenue from international operations increasing by 36.5 percent for the half-year financial period ending September 30 2012.
Vodacom’s data offerings was named as one of the largest contributors to the company’s international operations performance as data revenue grew 140.7 percent, supported by 128.0 percent growth in active data customers to 4.3 million.
Shameel Joosub, Vodacom Group CEO, commented: “This was a great set of results with improvements in the traditional voice business and strong performances in the data and International segments lifting overall revenue growth.”
Also adding to the increased data revenues is the launch of 3G services in the Democratic Republic of Congo and daily data bundles introduced in all of Vodacom Group’s international operations.
Joosub continued: “Thanks to our proactive added value approach, particularly the use of voice and data promotions, traffic growth in South Africa more than offset the impact of lower prices.
“Our strategy of driving smartphone penetration and data usage is working well, with the number of active smartphones in South Africa growing 36 percentand the average amount of data used by each of those handsets up 46 percent.
Across the Group, only 35 percent of our active customer base is using data so we’re still very much at the beginning of this growth trend.”
Similar to the half-year results reported by Safaricom, a Vodafone Plc company, Vodacom also saw mobile financial services, namely M-Pesa, also continue to grow. Active M-Pesa customers were reported to have almost doubled compared to the previous reporting period to 4.2 million customers. Also, Vodacom Tanzania is reported to have 47.1 percent of its customer base actively using M-Pesa.
M-Pesa also contributes 12.6 percent to Vodacom Tanzania’s service revenue, up considerably from 6.9 percent a year ago.
Given the increased M-Pesa usage and revenues, Vodacom Group intends to roll-out similar money transfer services in the DRC, Mozambique and Lesotho in the next nine months.
“The International operations performed extremely well with strong commercial propositions and the benefits of scale resulting in significantly higher margins.
“Very importantly, underpinning the growth in all areas of the business was an increase in investment. Network leadership is a crucial part of Vodacom’s strategy and a key differentiator.
“We increased the number of 3G base stations in the Group by more than 22 percent and thanks to the foundations laid over the past few years we were the first to launch LTE services in South Africa.” Joosub added.
Some Highlights from the Half-year Results:
-Improved revenue and margins drive strong HEPS growth;
-Group service revenue up 6.9 percent (5.5 percent*);
-Group EBITDA up 14.5 percent (13.0 percent*);
-SA EBITDA margin increased 2.0ppts to 37.9 percent;
-Headline earnings per share (‘HEPS’) up 22.2 percent (12.5 percent) to 396 cents;
- 36.5% increase in interim dividend per share to 355 cents.
Compelling value propositions support voice business
-Group active customers increased 20.8 percent to 50.1 million;
-Group voice revenue up 7.3 percent (5.2 percent*) to R17.6 billion;
-Outgoing Group voice traffic up 16.1 percent.
Strong demand for data services
-Group data revenue up 20.2%, now 15.9% of service revenue;
-42.3% increase in Group active data customers to 17.6 million;
-35.5% increase in active smartphones in South Africa
Excellent International performance
-Service revenue up 36.5 percent (32.4 percent*), contributed 20.2 percent (16.9 percent*) to Group service revenue;
-EBITDA up 92.3 percent (76.7 percent*), contributed 10.5 percent to Group EBITDA;
- EBITDA margin increased to 20.6 percent (25.6 percent*) from 14.6 percent (19.0 percent*);
- 47.1 percent of Tanzania active customers now using M-Pesa.
Network leadership remains a key priority
-Group capex increased 36.1% to R4 713 million;
-22.7 percent increase in number of Group 3G base stations;
-First to launch LTE in SA and 3G services in DRC.
*Represents normalised growth excluding foreign exchange gains/losses and at a constant currency