Vodacom revenue lifted by strong growth in South Africa

Johannesburg –   South Africa’s Vodacom Group reported a two per cent increase in first-half service revenue on Monday lifted by rising demand for data services in its home market.

Vodacom, majority owned by Britain’s Vodafone, has invested heavily in its network to provide faster internet services as increasing numbers of consumers use smartphones.

Group service revenue rose two per cent to 34.7 billion rand (1.84 billion pounds), while group revenue increased 4.6 per cent to 42 billion rand.

The group said it added 2.9 million customers in South Africa, breaching the 40 million mark for the first time.

It added 1.4 million customers in its international markets, an increase of 11.4 per cent.

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Vodacom, which gained a 35 per cent stake in Kenya’s Safaricom as Vodafone consolidated two of its African interests in May, said revenue at Safaricom’s money transfer service, M-Pesa, rose 14 per cent in the first half.

Headline earnings per share – a profit gauge that strips out certain one-off items – came in at 445 cents in the six-months ended September, compared with 440 cents a year earlier.

Vodacom, which is still being investigated by the Competition Commission for suspected market dominance, declared an interim dividend per share of 390 cents, slight lower than the previous year.

Shares in the company fell 2.6 per cent to 148.50 rand at 0742 GMT. (Reuters/NAN)

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