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Vodacom Group customers surpass 200-million for first time

2nd February 2024

By: Natasha Odendaal

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

     

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Telecommunications giant Vodacom on Friday reported that it has increased group revenue by 26.8% to R38.9-billion during the quarter ended December 31, 2023, with a positive impact from the company’s Vodafone Egypt acquisition.

The group’s service revenue, including Vodafone Egypt on a pro-forma basis, increased by 8.8%, supported by a 29.1% growth in Vodafone Egypt’s service revenue, in local currency, with Egypt financial services customers surging 55.5% to 7.5-million.

“Boosted by our acquisition of Vodafone Egypt, where revenue growth continues to accelerate, group revenue increased 26.8% during the quarter to R38.9-billion. On a pro-forma basis, which includes Egypt as if it was owned from April 1, 2022, revenue growth was 9.6%,” said Vodacom Group CEO Shameel Joosub.

In Egypt, local currency revenue growth of 31.5% was underpinned by a strong performance from mobile data, and fixed and financial services, including a 40.7% improvement in data traffic.

In the South African operations, service revenue grew 1.9%, owing to a strong comparative period in the prior year, while International service revenue increased 10.7% as network investments accelerated data revenue growth.

“In South Africa, we delivered satisfactory revenue growth of 4% considering the strong comparative as a result of heightened loadshedding in the prior year quarter. Across our International business segment it was pleasing to see that our network investment contributed to a 25.4% increase in 4G sites, which ultimately supported an acceleration of local currency revenue growth,” he added.

Revenue from new services, such as financial and digital services, fixed and Internet of Things, is on track to reach the company’s target contribution of 25% to 30% over the medium term.

“In the quarter, the contribution of new service revenue exceeded 20% for the first time, equating to R6.2-billion.”

The company’s financial services revenue, which remains the largest component of new services, increased by 31% to R3.4-billion during the quarter under review, largely owing to the scaling of new products and strong customer growth of 12%, with $98.2-billion transacted through Vodacom’s mobile money platforms.

“Our super-app roll-out across the footprint remains a major focus for the group. In South Africa, VodaPay reached 4.8-million registered users, with our summer campaign driving strong user engagement on the platform,” Joosub commented.

Meanwhile, customers across the group, including Safaricom, reached 200-million for the first time, having reached 100-million customers in 2018, and more than 75-million customers are now using a financial service.

“During the third quarter Vodacom Group celebrated a number of key milestones including Vodacom Mozambique’s 20-year anniversary, the trialling of fifth-generation (5G) in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the announcement of Project Kuiper, a strategic collaboration with Amazon’s low Earth orbit satellite communications initiative,” Joosub further outlined.

“Having operated in Mozambique for two decades, its anniversary highlights the contribution Vodacom has made to digital and financial inclusion in the country and more broadly across our footprint.”

He cited, as an example of the impact across its footprint, its financial services business, which connects more than 75-million customers and facilitates $1.1-billion a day in mobile money transaction value.

Further, Project Kuiper adds to Vodacom Group’s satellite partnerships that will extend the reach of fourth-generation and 5G services to more of its customers across Africa, and in particular, in areas that may otherwise be operationally challenging or prohibitively expensive to serve through traditional fibre or microwave solutions.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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