Vodacom Q1 revenue rises led by growth at home

A branch South African mobile communications provider Vodacom in Cape Town is shown in this picture taken November 10, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings/File Photo

JOHANNESBURG  – Vodacom Group revenue rose 3.9 percent to 20.7 billion rands ($1.60 billion) in the first quarter, boosted in its home market South Africa by increased smartphone sales, the telecoms operator said on Thursday.

Vodacom’s South African revenue grew 7.8 percent to 16.7 billion rands for the quarter ending 30 June 2017, after sales of smartphones rose 17 percent, Vodacom Group CEO Shameel Joosub said in a statement.

International operations revenue declined 8.2 percent to 4.2 billion rands for the period, which the company blamed on currency volatility, the firm said. Customers outside South Africa climbed 12 percent to 30 million, it added.

“Underlying growth trends in our International operations have improved, with a better performance in Tanzania and sustained growth in Mozambique and Lesotho through strong commercial execution,” said Joosub said adding that exchange rate volatility continued to hurt revenues.

Vodacom said it expected to boost its performance outside South Africa with its expansion in Kenya through a 34.6 billion rand ($2.72 billion) deal to acquire a 35 percent stake in Safaricom from Vodafone, its majority owner.

The deal will give Vodacom access to a market where Safaricom has a 71 percent share and demand for mobile phone services is still growing.

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