Vodacom boss Shameel Joosub was paid close to R11 million for the year ended-March 2015, after the country’s biggest mobile phone operator paid more than R13.5 billion to equity shareholders and debt funders, and grew subscriber base by 7.2% to 61.6 million.
Joosub guaranteed salary rose 5% to R7.3 million in 2015 compared with R6.95 million in 2014. His R10.9 million total remuneration included a R3.7 million bonus, according to the operators’
2015 integrated annual report.
While Ivan Dittich, Vodacom’s chief financial officer was paid a guaranteed salary of R4.7 million, showing a 4.3% increase versus R4.6 million in 2014. His total remuneration was R6.2 million with a R1.5 million bonus.
The Vodacom executives helped the company paid R11 billion to shareholders and increasing active data customers by 15.9% to 26.5 million and M2M SIMs increasing 18.5% to 1.8 million.
“The total shareholder return Vodacom has delivered, since listing in 2009, of 261.0% is a mark of the prudent approach we take to balancing sustained business growth with attractive returns, and the effective allocation of capital this requires,” said Vodacom chairman Peter Moyo.
Vodacom, which is valued at more than R billion, has extended 3G coverage to 96% of the South African population by the close of the financial year, and has continued to drive voice and data coverage in its international operations, including in remote areas.
The company is expanding its networks introducing LTE/4G and enhancing its voice services through a R13.3 billion investment.
“The quality and reach of our networks gives us an important commercial advantage,” Joosub said. “Our accelerated capex programme is aimed at entrenching our network leadership and making sure we give our customers the best network experience, and our renewed focus on customer care will challenge us to keep our promise of providing the best service.”
Vodacom’s investment in the reach, quality and efficiency of its networks, which are its most important competitive advantages, has been in the order of R70 billion over the last 20 years. Adjusted for the time value of money, this equates to a staggering R104 billion.
“We have already started to see the benefits of our accelerated capital investment programme in the fourth quarter, where data monetisation and efficiency improved with data revenue in South Africa increasing 31.0% and data traffic growing 47.5%. This was supported by the doubling of the number of LTE/4G sites to 2 600 and increasing 3G sites by 21.4% to 8 802 sites,” said Dittrich.
In 1993, Vodacom was awarded a licence to operate a GSM cellular network in South Africa and in 1996 was the first operator in the world to launch a prepaid service.
The company has operations in South Africa, Tanzania, the DRC, Mozambique and Lesotho, and also offer business managed services to enterprises in over 40 countries across Africa.
In the year to end-March 2015, Vodacom revenue rose 2.1% and excluding the impact of a 50% cut in Mobile Termination Rates in South Africa, group revenue increased 4.8%.
The number of smartphones active on the Vodacom network in South Africa increased by 28.4% to 9.3 million, which equates to only 30% penetration.
“The level of smartphone usage in our International operations is even lower, so there is still significant untapped growth potential. On top of that, the average amount of data used per smartphone is growing rapidly. In South Africa, average usage grew 37.9% to 342MB/month,” Joosub said. “In short, we’re convinced that the investment we’re putting into our network including both new base stations and extensive fibre backhaul is exactly the right thing to do and lays the foundation for continued growth.”