Vodacom posts 19% H1 profit rise a year after share scheme hit
(Adds details, shares)
JOHANNESBURG, Nov 11 (Reuters) - South African mobile
operator Vodacom on Monday reported an 18.9% rise in
half-year profits, partly reflecting the absence of one-off
costs related to a share scheme offered to black investors.
After initially rising, Vodacom's shares fell over 2%
despite the improved result, with revenue flat in South Africa
and growth in overall group service revenue slowing.
"Our international portfolio remains a star performer,
growing service revenue by 15.5% in a period characterised by
macro and political stability and high demand for data," CEO
Shameel Joosub said in a statement.
A stagnant economy at home has left many South African
firms, Vodacom included, relying on businesses elsewhere to
Even with a turnaround in the second quarter, Vodacom said
service revenue in South Africa rose just 0.3% for the six
months to Sept. 30 while its overall group service revenue rose
4.2% versus 6.1% a year earlier.
Headline earnings per share (HEPS), the main profit measure
in South Africa, rose to 460 from 387 cents a year earlier.
The company, majority owned by Britain's Vodafone,
has been trying to raise data usage by cutting prices, and
diversify its revenue by offering other services such as
insurance and on-demand video, steps it said were paying off.
Vodacom now reaches a combined 115 million customers
group-wide, with Safaricom, Kenya's largest mobile operator
which Vodacom partly owns, alone adding 2.7 million customers.
Safaricom runs the popular mobile financial services
platform M-Pesa which provided a boost in the first half of the
Vodacom and Safaricom are planning to expand M-Pesa
internationally after acquiring the intellectual property rights
for it from Vodafone, a move that will also save both money on
The company's mid-year earnings last year were hit by 1.5
billion rand in costs related to a black economic empowerment
($1 = 14.8839 rand)
(Reporting by Emma Rumney; editing by Clarence Fernandez and
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