South Africa-based Vodacom Group has reported consolidated revenues of ZAR18.29 billion (USD2.06 billion) for the three months ended 31 December 2012, up 1.7% compared to the corresponding year-earlier period. The carrier’s domestic unit, Vodacom South Africa, accounted for the lion’s share of the total, generating ZAR15.48 billion (up 2.2% year-on-year), with international operations generating a further ZAR2.88 billion (down 3.6% y-o-y).
In operational terms, Vodacom reports that its ‘active’ customer base increased 12.2% to 51.0 million, during the October-December period, while Vodacom South Africa remains the firm’s largest unit by subscribers, with 30.58 million subscribers at the end of December, of which 24.71 million were pre-paid users. Elsewhere, Vodacom units in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Mozambique and Lesotho all increased their active subscriber bases in the three months ended 31 December. Mozambique weighed in with 2.86 million customers (up 5.3%), the DRC contributed 7.09 million subscribers (up 38.5%) and Lesotho grew its mobile base to 1.07 million, an annual rise of 34.7%. However, Vodacom Tanzania saw its user base drop 0.6% y-o-y, to 9.36 million.
Shameel Joosub, CEO of Vodacom Group, commented: ‘It’s been a quarter with strong performances in data and our ‘International’ operations, tempered by some challenges in our South African business … Active customer growth across the Group was also positive, with the International base growing 13% and the South African base growing 12%. While customers increased, voice revenue in South Africa was impacted by more active competition in a softer economy coupled with the decision taken earlier in the year to discourage calling card behaviour. This was the right thing to do to improve profitability but has temporarily impacted revenue growth. During the quarter our investment activities were focused on maintaining network leadership, most clearly demonstrated by the commercial launch of Vodacom’s Long Term Evolution (LTE) service – the first in South Africa’.