PRESS RELEASE: Vodacom Q3 Trading Statement
Vodacom Group Limited trading statement for the quarter ended 31 December 2012
Group revenue up 1.7%. Excluding the sale of Gateway Carrier Services and the impact of movements in foreign currency, revenue was up 4.8%* (6.7% excluding the impact of mobile termination rates (‘MTRs’)).
Group data revenue up 23.3% with active data customers increasing 33.8% to 18.5 million as we continue to drive smartphone penetration with increasing data bundles sold.
Group active customers increased 12.2% to 51.0 million as we attracted new customers through compelling value offers, superior network quality and network expansion.
Continued growth from on-going International operations; service revenue up 22.0%* supported by strong customer growth and increased adoption of data services.
International data revenue growth of 100.0%, led by 72.6% growth in active M-Pesa customers to 4.7 million.
South African service revenue declined by 1.7% (up 1.4% excluding the impact of MTRs) due to competitive and economic pressures, coupled with a temporary impact from our actions to reduce unprofitable calling card1 SIMs.
We extended our LTE coverage in South Africa to reach Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town, with 542 active sites.
Shameel Joosub, Vodacom Group CEO commented:
“It’s been a quarter with strong performances in data and our International operations tempered by some challenges in our South African business. Our Group revenue expanded by 4.8%* year on year and 7.1%* quarter on quarter. Group data revenue grew 23% and revenue from the International operations grew 22%*.
Active customer growth across the Group was also positive, with the International base growing 13% and the South African base growing 12%. While customers increased, voice revenue in South Africa was impacted by more active competition in a softer economy coupled with the decision taken earlier in the year to discourage calling card1 behaviour. This was the right thing to do to improve profitability but has temporarily impacted revenue growth.
During the quarter our investment activities were focused on maintaining network leadership, most clearly demonstrated by the commercial launch of Vodacom’s LTE service – the first in South Africa.”
1. Calling card behaviour arises where airtime is bundled with a starterpack and sold at a discounted price by wholesalers. This results in customers acquiring the SIM cards solely for use of the discounted airtime and discarding the SIM once the airtime value has been utilised.
* Represents normalised growth at a constant currency (using current year as base) from on-going operations. Refer below for a reconciliation of normalised growth.
All growth rates refer to the quarter compared to prior year unless stated otherwise.
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