Vodacom said its group revenue was up 3.9% in the 6 months ended September 30, supported by service revenue growth of 4.2%. File Photo: IOL

JOHANNESBURG  - Mobile communications company Vodacom on Monday said its group revenue was up 3.9 percent in the six months ended September 30, supported by service revenue growth of 4.2 percent.

Vodacom said it added 2.7 million customers in South Africa and its international operations and 2.7 million in Safaricom during the period, to serve a combined 115 million customers across the group.

The company, a subsidiary of British firm Vodafone, is the largest mobile network operator in South Africa with significant operations in Lesotho, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique and Kenya, through Safaricom.

On Monday it said South Africa service revenue grew 0.3 percent in the half year under review, supported by the turnaround to growth in the second quarter as a drop in out-of-bundle income was offset by improved data elasticity and the completion of the full onboarding of its new roaming partner.

"Our international portfolio remains a star performer, growing service revenue by 15.5 percent in a period characterised by macro and political stability and high demand for data and M-Pesa services in each operation," group CEO Shameel Joosub said.

"We connected an additional 2.0 million customers, boosting the total to 36.6 million customers outside South Africa and Safaricom."

Interim headline earnings per share rose 18.9 percent, due to one-off black economic empowerment (BEE) costs of R1.5 billion included in the prior period.

In June last year Vodacom said it had entered into a agreement of up to R17.5 billion with its existing BEE partners and a newly formed staff scheme that would see the partners exchange their current shareholding in Vodacom South Africa for a shareholding of between 5.8 percent and 6.25 percent in Vodacom Group.

On Monday the company declared an interim dividend of 380 cents per share and a special dividend of 60 cents per share.

- African News Agency (ANA)