PRESS RELEASE: Interim results for the six months ended 30 September 2013
* Group revenue up 6.6% (7.5%*) and service revenue up 2.0% (3.2%*); strong growth in International operations and improved growth trends in South Africa.
* Group active customers increased 9.7% to 53.8 million; with net connections of 949 000 for South Africa and 2.3 million in our International operations for the six months period.
* Group data revenue growth of 29.0%; driven by bundle sales and integrated offers.
* South Africa revenue up 6.0%; supported by 41.2% increase in equipment sales and data revenue growth of 20.6%.
* International operations (excluding Gateway Carrier Services1) maintaining strong growth momentum; service revenue up 34.7% (17.2%*) and EBITDA growth of 39.2% (24.8%*).
* Group EBITDA grew 9.6% at top end of guidance.
* Capital investment of R4.9 billion, supporting a 23.8% increase in outgoing voice traffic and increase in data usage of more than 80%.
* Headline earnings per share up 10.9% as a result of strong operating profit growth.
* Interim dividend per share of 395 cents.
Six months ended 30 September Year on year % change 2013 2012 Reported Normalised*
Revenue 36 688 34 426 6.6 7.5
Service revenue 30 213 29 632 2.0 3.2
EBITDA 13 221 12 060 9.6 7.3
Operating profit 9 998 8 970 11.5
Capital expenditure 4 850 4 713 2.9
Op. free cash flow 6 308 6 156 2.5
Free cash flow 3 178 3 432 (7.4)
Headline EPS (cents) 439 396 10.9
1. The Group disposed of its subsidiary group, Gateway Carrier Services, during the previous reporting period, effective 31 August 2012.
* Represents normalised growth at constant currency (using current year as base) from on-going operations. Refer to page 30 for a reconciliation of normalised growth.
All comparative information refers to the current six months period compared to the same period in the prior year, unless otherwise stated.
Shameel Joosub, Vodacom Group CEO commented:
A cornerstone of our strategy is sustained investment in network capacity. With increased capacity, we're able to offer better value and support higher usage without impacting quality.
In South Africa, we invested R3.1 billion in the network during the period and increased 3G coverage to 88.9% of the population. On the voice side, our prepaid average effective price per minute came down 16.9% to 59 cents. As a result, our prepaid customer base increased by 927 000 active customers and outgoing voice traffic increased 21.2%. When looking at changes to mobile termination rates, we are hopeful that the regulator will consider the crucial role that continued investment plays in facilitating further price reductions.
In our International operations, our customer base increased 22.4% to 23.7 million. Data revenues in these operations increased 100.6%. This was driven by a 41.0% increase in the number of active data customers. Our International operations now account for 21.6% of Group service revenue, increasing from 19.0%* a year ago.
Driven by lower handset prices and reduced data costs, smartphone adoption is growing rapidly across all of our operations. In South Africa, average data usage per smartphone increased 79% and for the Group, data traffic is more than 80% higher than a year ago. To cater for continued growth, we plan to accelerate network investment and we are currently in the process of determining the investment allocation per country."
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