South African telecoms giant the Vodacom Group reports a 22 percent increase in first-half profits, fueled by data and success in the international arena.

Releasing figures on Monday, the company revealed strong growth with diluted headline earnings per share (EPS) for the six months to end-September rose to 394.6 cents ($ 45.2) up from the corresponding figure last year when headline EPS leveled out at 322.3 cents ($ 36.9).

Growth in EPS is as such displaying a positive trend for the company, which has previously announced it is in line to achieve 20 to 25 per cent growth in EPS figures.

Revenue results for the first half are also up at 34.4 billion rand ($3.94 billion), a significant increase on last year’s H1 figure of 31.7 billion rand ($3.637 billion).

The group now enjoys the custom of 50.1 million users, a 21 percent increase.

As South Africans increasingly depend on their mobile devices for internet connection, Vodacom pointed to an increase in data usage by customers as a factor influencing the positive results for H1.

However, perhaps the most striking aspect of the results for the first six months is the increase in revenue from Vodacom’s international operations, in particular growth in other African markets, such as Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo – where the company no longer looks set to withdraw.  Indeed, the telecom noted a 19 per cent increase in its customer base across the two countries.

Vodacom revealed that international revenue grew 36 percent, climbing to 6 billion rand ($ 688 million) – now accounting for 20 percent of the group’s total revenue, as compared to a revenue contribution of 16 percent at the equivalent point of the last fiscal year.

The company looks set to expand further in the African continent, with potential future launches reported to be under planning in Lesotho and Mozambique.

On the back of positive results Vodacom has decided to raise its interim dividend for H1 to 355 cents ($ 0.040) – an increase of 27 percent.


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