Despite the ongoing loadshedding crisis in South Africa, Vodacom Group reported strong revenue growth of 36.9% in the first quarter of 2023. This growth was led by the acquisition of Vodafone Egypt, as well as strong demand for data and financial services.
Vodacom Egypt contributed ZAR 6.8 billion in revenue in the first quarter, more than double the revenue it generated in the same period last year. This was driven by strong growth in data and financial services. Data revenue in Egypt grew 43.2% year-on-year, while financial services revenue more than doubled.
In South Africa, Vodacom’s revenue grew 3.9%. This was driven by strong demand for data, which grew 23.8% year-on-year. Financial services revenue also grew 46.2%.
Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub said the company’s strong performance was a testament to its resilience in the face of challenges such as loadshedding. “We have responded to South Africa’s power crisis with increased investment in power resilience and meaningful engagement with stakeholders,” he said. “We welcome the government’s block exemptions for energy users and suppliers, which enables more efficient procurement and use of backup energy solutions.”
Joosub also said that Vodacom is confident that its virtual wheeling agreement with Eskom will be signed off in the near term. This agreement will allow Vodacom to generate its own power and sell it back to the grid.
In addition to its strong revenue growth, Vodacom also reported a few other positive developments in the first quarter. The company’s customer base grew by 4.3% to 138.7 million, and its average revenue per user (ARPU) increased by 2.5%.
Vodacom also made significant investments in its network in the first quarter. The company spent ZAR 1.5 billion on network upgrades and maintenance, bringing its total investment in its network to ZAR 11 billion over the past four years.
Joosub said that Vodacom is committed to investing in its network in order to provide its customers with the best possible service. “We believe that a strong network is essential for our continued growth,” he said. “We will continue to invest in our network in order to meet the needs of our customers and to stay ahead of the competition.”
Overall, Vodacom had a very strong first quarter. The company’s strong revenue growth and customer base expansion are a testament to its resilience in the face of challenges such as loadshedding. Vodacom’s continued investment in its network is also a positive sign for the future.