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Friday, 02 February 2024 11:37

Vodacom group tops 200 million customers as revenue surges.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

JSE-listed telecommunications group Vodacom has topped 200 million customers for the first time – doubling from 100 million in 2018.

This was revealed by Vodacom Group CEO Shameel Joosub in a trading update for the quarter ended 31 December 2023 (Q3 FY24).

Joosub said that group revenue increased by 26.8% in the quarter to R38.9 billion, boosted by the acquisition of Vodafone Egypt. On a pro-forma basis, including Egypt, as if it was owned from 1 April 2022, revenue growth was 9.6%.

"In South Africa, we delivered satisfactory revenue growth of 4.0% considering the strong comparative as a result of heightened load shedding in the prior year quarter," Joosub said.

"Across our International business segment, it was pleasing to see that our network investment contributed to a 25.4% increase in 4G sites, which ultimately supported an acceleration of local currency revenue growth."

"As we combine network investment with our focus on digital inclusion and pioneering handset financing and rural coverage models, we expect these will unlock further meaningful growth opportunities across our eight markets."

During Q3 FY24, the contribution of new service revenue exceeded 20% for the first time, reaching R6.2 billion, with financial services remaining the largest component of new services, having grown 31% to R3.4 billion on the back of customer growth of 12.0% and the scaling back of new products.

"Looking ahead, we are fully alert to the financial constraints on customers caused by the high cost of living and remain committed to delivering innovations that enhance the value we deliver to customers to help alleviate the cost of living pressures," Joosub said.

"We are also mindful of an evolving macro-economic environment across our footprint, including foreign exchange rate risk, and expect that our business model will continue to demonstrate its resilience."

Vodacom's share price, which has been under intense pressure in the past year, rose by nearly 2% on Friday’s financial update. The shares were changing hands at R97.21 apiece shortly after 9.30am in Johannesburg.