Vodacom has posted its quarterly results, showing a big jump in group revenue to R19.9 billion – up almost 6% – for the quarter ended 30 June 2016.
Group service revenue up 7.3% (normalised at 4.6%) to R16.8 billion, with group data revenue increasing by a massive 19.4% to R5.8 billion – representing 34.4% of all service revenue.
In South Africa, data revenue increased 18.0% to R4 691 million and now contributes 37.8% to service revenue (Q1 2016: 33.8%). Strong demand for data resulted in data customers increasing 6.1% to 18.8 million.
Notably, the group reported that data bundle sales increased 52.1% – largely due to the take-up of more affordable daily bundles – resulting in a 15.6% decline in the price per megabyte.
Average monthly data usage by customers on smart devices grew by 19.6% to 632MB in the quarter.
Overall, the Vodacom Group saw active customers decline 2.6% to 61.8 million, impacted by new customer registration processes in international markets; but in South Africa, active customers grew 5.4% to 35.1 million, adding just under 1 million customers in the quarter.
South African service revenue was “robust” growing at 5.6% to R12.4 billion, Vodacom said, despite increasing pressure on consumer spending.
According to Vodacom group CEO, Shameel Joosub, the big gain in South African customers is simply down to the operator running the best network in the country.
“(The) stellar number of customer additions in South Africa in both postpaid and prepaid…can largely be attributed to the significant investments that we continue to make in infrastructure to sustain our competitive advantage to deliver the best network, superior customer service and great value to our customers through innovation such as our personalised Just 4 You offers,” he said.
Active prepaid customers increased 883 thousand in the quarter to 30.1 million, while active contract customers have increased by 51 thousand in the quarter.
“Churn improved to 5.3%, as customer satisfaction remains well ahead of our competitors,” Joosub said.
Prepaid ARPU was down 3.2% to R60, affected by the increase in lower ARPU customers, while contract ARPU increased 5.2% to R401 as data demand continued to grow.
Vodacom said it now has 14.9 million customers using bundles, having sold 329 million bundles in the first three months.