Vodacom customer numbers swell in South Africa, revenue on the rise

By Loni Prinsloo and Janice Kew

(Bloomberg) — Vodacom Group’s first-quarter sales gained 3.9% as Africa’s largest carrier by market value invested in its network and increased sales of smartphones in its home country of South Africa.

A logo sits on display outside the headquarters of Vodacom Group Ltd. in Johannesburg. Photographer: Dean Hutton/Bloomberg

The unit of Vodafone Group reported revenue of R20.7bn ($1.6bn), propelled by a 15% rise in data sales. The Johannesburg-based company added 2.3 million customers in South Africa and 280 000 customers in its four other markets, bringing the total to 70 million people, it said in a statement Thursday.

“The solid performance the group delivered in 2017, continued into the first quarter of the current financial year,” said Chief Executive Officer Shameel Joosub. “Although the international operations have turned the corner, currency volatility is still negatively impacting translation of these results.”

Vodacom, about 70 percent owned by Newbury, England-based Vodafone, is seeking to grow in the continent in partnership with Kenya’s Safaricom Ltd., in which it agreed to buy a 35 percent stake from its parent company. Vodacom trails cross-town rival MTN Group Ltd. in terms of total subscribers, though is the market leader in South Africa.

The shares have gained 15% this year, valuing the company at R261bn.

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