South Africa’s Vodacom Group has reported that net profits for the six months ended 30 September 2021 fell to ZAR8.87 billion (USD578.7 million) from ZAR9.27 billion for the corresponding period of 2020, despite a rise in first-half revenue to ZAR49.86 billion from ZAR47.84 billion. However, operating profit was also down at ZAR14.06 billion from ZAR14.47 billion in a period in which the group added a net 6.2 million new customer subscriptions for a total of 129.9 million. Declaring an interim dividend of ZAR4.20, up from ZAR4.15 year-on-year, the carrier reportedly said it forecasts ‘mid-single digit service revenue growth and mid-to-high-single digit operating profit growth for the medium term, over the next three years’.
Separately, the Group’s chief executive officer Shameel Joosub was quoted by Bloomberg as saying that Vodacom may consider listing its financial services operation in South Africa to ‘unlock value’, in a move he sees might address what he terms ‘a stock market discount to the carrier’s sum-of-parts worth’. In an interview this week, Joosub reportedly suggested that the Johannesburg-based company ‘could look at whether a carve out of the financial services unit makes sense’. At 30 September 2021 the company’s financial services business reported a total of 57.3 million customers, up 4.4% y-o-y.