Recent third quarter 2019 results from the Vodafone Group highlighted a good performance in Africa for Vodacom, while efforts are continuing to simplify the group to two differentiated, scaled geographic regions: Europe and sub-Saharan Africa.
The overall figures show organic service growth. Notable headlines outside Vodafone’s European markets include the news that trends in South Africa are improving and there is continued strong growth in Vodacom’s international operations. Vodacom currently operates in Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Mozambique, Lesotho and Kenya.
In South Africa, service revenue increased 4.6 percent and growth was achieved despite a weak macroeconomic environment and pro-active efforts to transform data pricing, including more competitive pricing. This seems to be working: data traffic growth is accelerating.
Vodacom’s international operations outside of South Africa grew by 7.4 percent. Growth remained strong in DRC and Mozambique, but slowed in Tanzania due to increased competition. As reported here earlier, from January 2020 Vodacom has been required to bar services to 1.7 million unregistered customers in Tanzania. However, it expects to recover the majority of these customers over the coming quarters.
Egypt service revenue also grew, though, as Nick Read, Vodafone group chief executive, commented: “We have recently announced the proposed sale of our stake in Vodafone Egypt, which simplifies the Group into two scaled regional platforms – Europe and sub-Saharan Africa – and reduces our net debt.” The Vodafone Group also recently announced plans to pass control of its Ghana operations to the Vodacom unit in April as part of this simplification drive.
The only dark cloud on the horizon appears to be the fate of the Vodacom Idea joint venture, but, as we reported yesterday, what that fate might be depends in part on India’s Supreme Court.