Vodacom, South Africa’s biggest mobile phone operator announced on Thursday it has added 1.1 million new customers and also signed up 1.3 million data users for the quarter ended 30 June 2019.
The Vodafone–owned mobile phone company said it added 608 000 customers in South Africa in the quarter, 522 000 added in prepaid and contract customer base grew by 8.9%. It also added 560 000 customers in international operations, up 5.3%.
Its data customers increased to 38.9 million, adding 1.3 million in the quarter.
The revenue of M-Pesa, its mobile money service, increased 42.7% to R905 million, representing 17.7% of international service revenue.
The group reported solid revenue growth of 4.2% to R21.5 billion and service revenue up 3.9% to R17.4 billion. While, South African service revenue declined 1.2% to R12.6 billion, negatively impacted by the proactive reduction in out-of-bundle data rates, data usage regulations and the transition between national roaming partners.
“Growth from our international portfolio offset the anticipated slower performance in South Africa, which was impacted by new data usage regulations, significant data price cuts and a subdued economy weighing on consumer spend,” said Shameel Joosub, Vodacom Group CEO.
“The impact from three months of ICASA’s data usage regulations, the transition between national roaming partners and the tough retail operating environment, were other contributors to the 1.2% decline in service revenue in South Africa,” he added.
“Acceleration in the growth in data traffic of 52%, and the 45% jump in revenue from our Financial Services business were among the key highlights in South Africa from the quarter.”
Looking ahead, Joosub said the company expect to conclude the acquisition of the M-Pesa brand and platform and together with the recent launch of VodaPay, to further enhance the performance of Financial Services business.
“We are also encouraged by the growth potential from the IoT.nxt acquisition and AWS partnership agreement announced earlier this year. We expect growth in the second half of the year to improve in South Africa, benefitting from the completion of the national roaming partner switch over and improved commercial momentum in financial services.”