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South Africa's Vodacom posts 6.3 pc rise in FY revenue on rising user base

A store belonging to Vodafone’s South African subsidiary, Vodacom. FILE PHOTO | NMG
A store belonging to Vodafone’s South African subsidiary, Vodacom. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

South Africa’s telecoms operator Vodacom, which holds a 35 per cent stake in Safaricom #ticker:SCOM, posted a 6.3 per cent rise in full-year revenue on Monday as the country's biggest mobile phone operator by market value added more customers in its domestic market.

The company, majority owned by Britain’s Vodafone, added 7 million customers, including 4.5 million in South Africa, in the year ended March 31.

It has now more than 103 million customers, which includes Safaricom’s 1.4 million users.

Vodacom gained a 35 per cent stake in Kenya’s Safaricom as Vodafone consolidated two of its African interests last May.

Vodacom declared a final dividend of 425 cents (about Sh3.48) per share, lower than 435 cents (about Sh3.56) given out last year. For the whole year, it has declared a total dividend of 815 cents (about Sh6.68) per share, compared with 830 (about Sh6.8) cents in the previous year.

Vodacom has invested heavily in its network to provide faster internet services as increasing numbers of consumers use smartphones.

Revenue climbed to 86.37 billion rand (about Sh708 billion) from 81.28 billion rand (about Sh666 billion) in the previous year, while group service revenue rose 3.4 per cent to 70.63 billion rand ($5.76 billion).

Headline earnings per share, the main profit measure in South Africa that strips out certain one-off items, came in at 923 cents, unchanged from a year earlier. This was impacted by shares issued to acquire a stake in Safaricom.

Revenue at Safaricom’s money transfer service, M-Pesa, rose 19.6 percent on the year.

The Kenyan telco is 5 per cent owned by Vodacom’s major shareholder Vodafone.

($1 = 12.2648 rand)

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