Vodacom’s group data revenues grew by more than a third in the past year, helping lift total revenue by 6,4% in the six months ended 30 September 2015.
Group active subscribers increased by 6,8% to 65,1m in the same period. Strongest growth came from outside South Africa, with international operations’ revenue growing by 12,6% to 21,3% of the total. South Africa’s revenue was up by 5,1%.
Growth in group earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) — a measure of operating profit — outstripped revenue growth, adding 13% to R14,7bn for the six months. This led to a 2,1 percentage point margin expansion to 36,7%.
The improvements came in spite of a 5,8% increase in group capital expenditure to R6,2bn. Much of that was directed at South Africa, where 4G/LTE coverage increased from 32,2% to 46,8%.
Headline earnings per share — a number watched closely by investors — rose by 6% to R4,40. Vodacom declared an interim dividend of R3,95/share, up by 5,3% on the back of the robust results.
In a statement, Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub said: “It has been a strong start to the year with sustained growth underpinned by network superiority, customer value management excellence and distribution leadership.”
He said the strong improvement in Ebitda was the result of “excellent commercial execution, solid progress with our structured multi-year cost-saving programme and a weaker prior year first half comparative”.
“Ebitda growth was also boosted by the savings realised from the several actions we took in the second half last year to reduce costs.” — (c) 2015 NewsCentral Media