It’s already been a busy week for Vodacom, a week during which news of the pan-African operator’s annual results coincided with the announcement of the sale of Vodacom Business Africa’s operations in four regions.
Vodacom Business Africa is an enterprise-focused ICT subsidiary of the Vodacom Group, and pan-African private equity player Convergence Partners has announced that its digital service provider platform, inq. Holdings Limited, has completed the 100 percent acquisition of Vodacom Business Africa’s operations in Nigeria, Zambia and Cote d’Ivoire. There’s a further planned acquisition in Cameroon too, but that is awaiting regulatory approvals.
The inq. regional footprint now covers 13 cities in seven countries across Africa, including its existing operations in Botswana, Malawi and Mozambique. The company now plans to embark on the next phase of building a unified pan-African cloud and digital service provider.
More headlines have been made by the Vodacom Group with its annual results for the year ended 31 March 2020, which showed group revenue up 4.8 percent, and an additional 5.9 million customers, making a combined 116 million customers across the group. The number of financial services customers was up 12.8 percent, to 53.2 million, adding 6 million customers in the year.
Service revenue rose 2.3 percent in South Africa, where sharp data price reductions led to a steady increase in data traffic, a trend that is continuing, helped by the launch of the ConnectU platform, which provides easy access to numerous zero-rated essential service websites.
The company also highlighted what it called “another stellar year” for its international portfolio, where it again recorded margin expansion. It appears that the new M-Pesa joint venture has played a strong part in this success.
Vodacom currently has 40 million customers transacting on M-Pesa across all its operations. Its plans to expand the M-Pesa ecosystem across all countries will include the roll-out of nano lending platforms and getting the system ready for a smartphone world.
Vodacom also highlighted progress on a number of regulatory matters, along with numerous activities that it has implemented across its markets to assist governments in their response to the coronavirus pandemic.