Vodacom grows fibre footprint

Vodacom chief executive Shameel Joosub has pointed to an uptick in the mobile operator’s fibre activity, citing 15,846 connected homes and businesses.

In a conference call on Monday (14 May), following the release of the group’s financial results for the period ended March 2018, he said that Vodacom has passed 54,000 homes and businesses through its own build initiatives.

This was up from 21,000 end-points passed in selective areas it achieved in its prior comparative reporting period, and 3,483 households and businesses connected.

Vodacom by and large builds its own fibre footprint, although the company has entered into strategic wholesale agreements with other network providers.

It said that significant investment of R11.6 billion was used to expand its coverage and improve quality in its networks, with R8.9 billion spent in South Africa alone over the past year.

The company reported a 6.3% rise in group revenue to R86.4 billion for the year ended March 2018. Group service revenue grew 3.4% to R70.6 billion, while 0perating profit climbed 11.5% to R24.3 billion.

“We added 7.0 million customers during the year – 4.5 million in South Africa, and 2.5 million in our International operations,” said Joosub. “Safaricom added 1.4 million customers. In combination, we now reach over 103 million customers across the group.”

Headline earnings per share remained constant at 923 cents per share, impacted by shares issued to acquire the Safaricom stake, while the group announced a decline in total dividend per share to 815 cents, from 830 cents in 2017.

South Africa revenue grew by 8.1% to R70 billion, as a result of equipment revenue growth of 15.2%, underpinned by smart device sales which constitute 70% of total devices sold.

Service revenue increased 4.9% to R54.6 billion, Vodacom said.

Joosub also highlighted 18.3% growth in the company’s digital transactions, creating R986 million in revenue in South Africa. Vodacom also sold 950,000
insurance related policies, accumulating R625 million in revenue.

Read: Vodacom adds 4.5 million customers in South Africa

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Vodacom grows fibre footprint