JSE-listed cellphone giant Vodacom — majority owned by the UK’s Vodafone — on Monday reported an increase in headline earnings per share of 22,3% to 510c/share in the year to March 2010.
The group said it had invested R6,6bn in capital expenditure across its geographies and declared a final dividend of 175c/share, supported by its “strong cash performance and financial position”.
Vodacom said its board had decided to increase the dividend pay-out ratio from 40% to around 60% of headline earnings for the year ended March 2011.
The group’s SA customers declined by 4,9% to 26,3m as a result of a 1,9m reduction in prepaid customers following the implementation of the Regulation of Interception of Communication Act.
However, contract customer growth remained strong, up 14% to 4,5m.
Looking ahead, Vodacom said the steps taken during the year to refocus the business, placed it in a good position to benefit from a likely improvement in economic conditions in the coming year.
Vodacom CEO Pieter Uys said the environment in which the group operated was very different to that seen a few years ago. “I’m pleased that the steps we have taken to reshape and reposition the group are evident in these results. Customers in all of our markets have felt the effects of still fragile economic conditions and we have responded by increasing the value delivered to customers, made possible through cost containment measures taken across the group.” — Sapa