Logo of Vodafone
Logo of Vodafone (Photo Credit: www.shutterstock.com)

Vodacom on Monday reported solid earnings figures for the first six months of 2017 that showed, South Africa’s biggest mobile phone operator adding 2.9 million customers in its home market.

The Vodafone-owned mobile phone company added 4.3 million customers during the first half of the year, 2.9 million in South Africa and 1.4 million in its international operations, which include Mozambique, Lesotho, Tanzania and the DRC.

The company, which is valued at R263 billion, now has 71 million customers, which reflects a 11.8% increase versus the same period last year.

“This growth in both areas shows that our segmented markets approach and the delivery of greater value through innovative personalised bundles is continuing to produce results,” said Shameel Joosub, Vodacom Group CEO.

The growth in customers helped Vodacom to deliver a 7.7% rise in revenue in South Africa, which boosted group revenue and increased by 4.6% to R42 billion.

The rise in revenue was also a result of stronger device sales.

Vodacom South Africa’s growth in subscribers is way ahead of its main rival MTN, which saw its subscribers dropped by 1% to 30,9 million in the six months to end-September 2017.

It seems Vodacom’s promotions and packages continues to win the hearts of existing and new customers.

“We have consistently said throughout the year that we would accelerate the reduction in data prices and address out-of-bundle prices. These are promises that we have delivered on, with effective data prices decreased by 24.2% during the six-month period,” said Joosub.

On 1 October 2017, Vodacom also further reduced its out-of-bundle prices by up to 50%.

“We have managed to do this while continuing to invest significantly in infrastructure at a time when the lack of available spectrum is pushing our costs higher. Without new spectrum we are forced to build more base stations to meet data growth demand. Additional spectrum will allow us to invest more efficiently and accelerate our rural coverage programme,” he added.

Over the six-month period, Vodacom invested R3.9 billion to maintain its network lead and enhance its IT systems.