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Vodacom's global markets bolster quarterly results

Vodacom's global markets bolster quarterly results

Vodacom says strong growth in data and M-Pesa revenues has bolstered performance of its international operations and helped the company secure service revenue growth of 9.0% (including Safaricom Pls customers as at 30 September 2019).

According to its latest trading update for the quarter ended 31 December 2019, overall Group revenue was up 6.6% supported by Group service revenue growth of 5.7%.

Vodacom also said its Summer campaign delivered 334 million free rewards to 17 million customers and helped the company attract 484 000 customers in South Africa. It also gained 1.7 million customers in its international operations.

Shameel Joosub, Vodacom Group chief executive officer, said, "As expected, growth trends improved across a number of metrics in South Africa following the significant impacts over the past year from our ongoing pricing transformation strategy. These included substantial cuts in out-of-bundle tariffs and lower bundle prices, resulting in a circa 50% decline in effective data prices since March 2016."

Joosub said the company's financial services and enterprise businesses helped drive service revenue up by 4.6% in South Africa "despite a subdued economy."

"I am particularly pleased with the consistency in the performance of our International portfolio, which produced solid results on the back of strong demand for data and M-Pesa services, resulting in a 9% growth in service revenue. Our operations outside South Africa now contribute over 40%1 to Group service revenue."

Joosub made reference to the company having to disconnect 1.7 million customers in Tanzania.

In early January 2020 Tanzania's president John Magufuli confirmed the extension of the original deadline for biometric SIM card registration of 31 December 2019 to 20 January 2020.

At the time of the announcement, media reports indicated that over 21 million SIM cards still had to be registered.

Joosub added, "In January we had to disconnect 1.7 million customers in Tanzania, as a result of customer registration requirements, primarily due to the lack of government approved identification documents. This will have an impact on our growth in Tanzania, however we expect to reconnect many of these customers over the short to medium term once biometrically registered."

According to its statement, the company expects to launch 5G in South Africa in 2020 and also underlined the value of its roaming agreement with Rain and Liquid Telecom.

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