South African capital investment and revenue spikes from increased lockdown-related data usage add to Vodacom’s earnings.
South African cellular giant Vodacom recorded an 8.3% rise in group revenue in the financial year to March 2021, driven by an 8.2 million rise in its continental subscriber base, as increased data usage for work and entertainment enforced by Covid-19 lockdowns plumped up its bottom line.
Vodacom, the third-largest mobile operator in Africa behind Orange and local rival MTN, with 123.7 million subscribers at last count, has pinned its medium-term strategy on increasing data infrastructure and building a financial services interface to serve as a marketplace for its customers to access a range of services.
In its financial results, the firm said mobile contract customer revenue increased by 5% to R20.8-billion. Data traffic increased by 55.6%, with the sharp growth in usage in the first half of 2020 during the strictest parts of the lockdown normalising towards the end of the year, the firm said. Smart devices on its network were up by 9.5% to 23.2 million, while 4G devices on its network increased by 22.0% to 15.7 million.
Vodacom said its headline earnings per share, the main profit measure in South Africa,…