Mobile phone company Vodacom announced recently its service revenue rose five percent to R74.2 billion in the year ended March, while group revenue was up 4.3 percent to R90.1 billion.
Vodacom, which concluded a R16.4 billion broad-based black economic empowerment (BEE) ownership deal in September, the largest of its kind in the ICT sector, said operating profit was up 1.1 percent to R24.5 billion during the year.
Headline earnings per share for the year was down 6.6 percent, impacted by the new BEE ownership deal, partially offset by an increase in contributions from Safaricom, acquired in the prior year.
“The financial impacts of delivering on our promise of further reducing the cost-to-communicate in South Africa, combined with costs associated with concluding our new R16.4 billion BEE deal, is evident in the subdued increase in our operating profit,” CEO Shameel Joosub said.
South Africa service revenue added 2.1 percent to R55.7 billion during the year, improving growth in the fourth quarter, with 1.5 million new customers coming on board.
International operations achieved mid-teens service revenue growth of 15.6 percent, as the company drove financial services inclusion and continued to connect customers across all its operations.
Vodacom said it now had 110 million customers across the group, an increase of 5.8 percent.
The group had embarked on a digital transformation journey which would position it as a leader and key partner in the 4th industrial revolution, and to change from a traditional telco to a digital services company, it said.
“We are leading in the implementation of big data, artificial intelligence and robotic process automation, to optimise revenue, operate more efficiently and maximise our investment returns,” Vodacom added.