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Vodacom, Safaricom reach 200 million subscribers

By , Africa editor
Africa , 02 Feb 2024
Vodacom Group CEO Shameel Joosub.
Vodacom Group CEO Shameel Joosub.

Vodacom Group’s subscriber base has now surpassed 200 million for the first time, having previously achieved 100 million in 2018.

The pan-African company today issued a trading update for the quarter ended 31 December, stating that the transformational influence it made on its customers and the economy of the countries in which it operates offers a solid platform for ensuring the long-term success of its operations.

The telecom provider with presence in eight markets, including its 35% shareholding in Kenya’s Safaricom, applauded its newest addition to the group, Vodafone Egypt, for a convincing performance.

Shameel Joosub, CEO, Vodacom Group said the company’s acquisition of Vodafone Egypt uplifted the Johannesburg-headquartered telco, as revenue growth continues to accelerate.

As a result of the performance of Vodafone Egypt, group revenue increased 26.8% during the quarter to R38.9 billion, said Joosub.

He commented: “On a pro-forma basis, which includes Egypt as if it was owned from 1 April 2022, revenue growth was 9.6%. In Egypt, local currency revenue growth of 31.5% was underpinned by a strong performance from our mobile data, fixed and financial services, including a 40.7% improvement in data traffic.”

In its home country, South Africa, Vodacom reported revenue growth of 4.0%, despite increased state-controlled power outages.

Across the telco’s international business segment, Joosub said, the company’s network investment contributed to a 25.4% increase in 4G sites, which ultimately supported an acceleration of local currency revenue growth.

“As we combine network investment with our focus on digital inclusion and pioneering handset financing and rural coverage models, we expect these will unlock further meaningful growth opportunities across our eight markets,” he said.

Furthermore, he said revenue from new services – financial and digital services, fixed and IoT – is well on track to reach its target contribution of 25-30% over the medium-term.

He explained: “In the quarter, the contribution of new service revenue exceeded 20% for the first time, equating to R6.2 billion. Financial services remains the largest component of new services, having grown 31.0% to R3.4 billion in the quarter, largely on the back of scaling new products and strong customer growth of 12.0%.”

In partnership with Safaricom, Vodacom Group owns the mobile money platform M-Pesa. According to Joosub, that is Africa’s largest mobile money platform by transaction value processed, with a value of close to $100 billion in the quarter.

Looking ahead, he said: “We are fully alert to the financial constraints on customers caused by the high cost of living and remain committed to delivering innovations that enhance the value we deliver to customers to help alleviate cost of living pressures.

“We are also mindful of an evolving macro-economic environment across our footprint, including foreign exchange rate risk, and expect that our business model will continue to demonstrate its resilience.”

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