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Vodacom passes 200m subscriber mark across Africa

By , Africa editor
Africa , 13 May 2024
Vodacom Group CEO Shameel Joosub.
Vodacom Group CEO Shameel Joosub.

As Vodacom celebrates its 30th anniversary, the company has revealed that it has also reached a milestone by surpassing 200 million customers in Africa.

"These are two particularly gratifying milestones in Vodacom's history," said Vodacom Group CEO Shameel Joosub.

Vodacom, the pan-African telco, today announced a strong set of annual results for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2024, including the declaration of a cash dividend.

Joosub stated that Vodacom's client base is evenly distributed across its divisions, which include South Africa, Egypt, International business, and Safaricom, demonstrating the breadth of the company's presence.

Turning to the key metrics that lifted the business in the period, he said: “In aggregate, our new services, which include digital and financial, fixed and IoT, reached a contribution of 20.0% of group service revenue, as we also advanced our product diversification.

Vodacom, which has been wading deeper into financial services, and Joosub said this division is the key driver of its new services.

Joosub said: “This is evidenced by the 11.8% increase in financial service customers to 78.9 million, as we now process an impressive $381.2 billion in annual transaction value.”

Nonetheless, Joosub noted that a combination of start-up losses in Ethiopia (investment in Safaricom Ethiopia when it launched), higher finance and energy costs, the impact of absorbing inflationary pressures, and weaker exchange rates across markets, including the recent devaluation of the Egyptian pound, contributed to the 10.8% decline in headline earnings of 846 cents per share.

He continued: “Reflective of our dividend policy of paying at least 75% of headline earnings, the board declared a dividend per share of 590cps for the year. Nonetheless, we expect that our efforts to diversify the group's footprint and product mix will unlock strong returns over the medium term.”

Despite the prevailing economic backdrop, he said: “We remain committed to spending 13% to 14.5% of our overall revenue on capital expenditure that ultimately results in an enhanced customer experience through sustained investments in technology and network infrastructure.

“This has, and will continue to enhance network resilience through the acceleration of 5G coverage, our rural coverage programme to help bridge the digital divide and keeping customers connected despite, the power challenges across key markets.”

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