Vodacom sees data sales boost

TELECOMS giant Vodacom has recorded growth in earnings with headline earnings per share,Picture: Getty Images

TELECOMS giant Vodacom has recorded growth in earnings with headline earnings per share up 1.1% to 445c for the six months ended September. The group said revenue from data in SA division increased to more than voice revenue for the first time.

In SA, the group gained 2.9 million customers to breach the 40 million mark for the first time. An increase in smartphone device sales contributed to the 7.7% increase in revenue growth. The group concluded the acquisition of a 34.94% stake in Safaricom in the period and completed the listing of a 25% stake in Vodacom Tanzania.

The listing, the largest IPO on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange, resulted in 40000 Tanzanians investing directly in capital markets for the first time. Shameel Joosub, Vodacom CEO, said they delivered a good performance for the first six months despite weak economic conditions boosted by South African data gains and M-Pesa revenue. “Without new spectrum we are forced to build base stations for data demand.

“Over the six month period, we invested R3.9bn to maintain our network lead and enhance our IT systems.” The group said its micro-financing service M-Pesa saw a 70.9% increase in transactions and an average of R24bn processed on a monthly basis.

Joosub said that they expect the Safaricom transaction will further drive M-Pesa development and penetration outside of South Africa. Vodacom, which is being investigated by the Competition Commission for suspected market dominance, declared an interim dividend per share of 390 cents, lower than the previous year.

– with Reuters|thelman@thenewage.co.za