Vodacom, including Safaricom, has seen an expansion in its customer base, growing from 100 million in 2018 to 200 million in 2023.
The announcement was disclosed by Vodacom Group CEO Shameel Joosub in a trading update for the quarter ending 31 December 2023 (Q3 FY24).
Joosub indicated that the group’s revenue surged by 26.8% in the quarter, amounting to R38.9 billion, primarily driven by the acquisition of Vodafone Egypt. When considering Egypt on a pro-forma basis, as if it were owned from 1 April 2022, revenue growth stood at 9.6%.
“In South Africa, we achieved a satisfactory revenue growth of 4.0%, considering the robust comparison due to increased load shedding in the previous year’s quarter,” Joosub remarked.
Within our International business segment, it was gratifying to observe that our network investment led to a 25.4% increase in 4G sites, ultimately bolstering local currency revenue growth.
“As we combine network investment with our focus on digital inclusion, pioneering handset financing, and rural coverage models, we anticipate these initiatives will unlock further substantial growth opportunities across our eight markets.”
During Q3 FY24, the contribution of new service revenue exceeded 20% for the first time, reaching R6.2 billion, with financial services remaining the largest component of new services, having grown by 31% to R3.4 billion, driven by a 12.0% customer growth and the scaling back of new products.
“Looking ahead, we are fully cognizant of the financial constraints on customers resulting from the high cost of living and remain dedicated to delivering innovations that enhance the value we provide to customers, aiming to alleviate the pressures of the cost of living,” Joosub affirmed.
“We are also mindful of the evolving macro-economic environment across our footprint, including foreign exchange rate risk, and anticipate that our business model will continue to demonstrate its resilience.”
Moreover, the Competition Commission recommended rejecting the group’s proposed acquisition of an initial 30% stake in Maziv, but Vodacom expressed its intention to demonstrate to the Competition Tribunal the substantial public interest and pro-competitive advantages that the deal would bring to the fiber market.
The company believes that the acquisition will also expose it to a highly attractive and fast-growing business, and South Africa’s largest open-access fiber players – umatel and Dark Fibre Africa.
“With our capital injection and strategic support, we believe the transaction will further accelerate the growth of fiber in South Africa, fostering economic development and helping bridge South Africa’s digital divide,” the group concluded.