Vodacom is seeking to boost its fibre network in South Africa, which will enable it to offer customers a greater ability to stream video, music and gaming, CEO Shameel Joosub said in a presentation to analysts and reporters. Headline earnings per share remained constant at ZAR 9.23 per share, impacted by shares issued to acquire the Safaricom stake.
Service revenue increased 4.9% to R54.6 billion, Vodacom said.
Group revenue grew substantial by 7,8 percent (normalised for currency translation effects) with service revenue up by 3,4 percent, or 5,1 percent when normalised.
Vodacom's sustained investment in customer and network experience surprisingly attracted 8.4 million new customers in the year to end-March 2018, reassuring investors that the mobile phone company is still a good investment.
Safaricom added another 1.4-million customers during the year review.
Safaricom contributed R1,5-billion profit for the eight months since acquisition, after deducting the amortisation of fair valued assets and before minority interest.
Vodacom announced the purchase of a 35 percent stake in Nairobi-based Safaricom from its parent a year ago to expand its sub-Saharan African operations and mobile-money offering.
Sales rose 6.3 per cent to 86.4 billion South African rand (Dh25.7bn) and the number of subscribers in markets including South Africa, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo passed 100 million, the Johannesburg company said on Monday.
Vodacom declared a final dividend of 425 cents per share, lower than 435 cents given out a year ago.
"This was a solid achievement given the revenue impact from reducing out-of-bundle data prices by as much as 50% in October past year as well as the early phase investments in new revenue streams, including fibre, content propositions and financial services".
Data traffic growth remains robust at 43,7%, enabled through growing our data network coverage and capacity as well as focussing our device strategy on increasing 3G and 4G device uptake.
Improving customer data usage notifications. "In combination, we now reach over 103 million customers across the group", stated the results. The regulation says operators are not allowed to default to out-of-bundle charges on depletion of bundles, unless specific opt-in from customers is obtained.
Data revenue grew 12,8 percent year-on-year to R12,4 billion, which accounts for 42,8 percent of service revenue.
Enterprise service revenue grew 10,8% now contributing 25,7% of service revenue. M-Pesa now has 32.3 million customers.
Vodacom said the global operations continue to improve, with normalised service revenue growth of 7.4 percent or 0.3 percent on a reported basis. In addition, Safaricom processed $6.5 billion (R79 billion) worth of transactions for the year and grew M-Pesa revenue by 14.2% to KES63 billion (R7.7 billion).
"Looking ahead, we are encouraged by the renewed economic and political stability in South Africa and larger worldwide operations, including Kenya".