"We added 7.0 million customers during the year - 4.5 million in South Africa, and 2.5 million in our global operations", said CEO Shameel Joosub. The combined mobile money customer base, including Safaricom, grew 11.5 percent in the past year and now exceeds 32.3 million.
"ARPU was also impacted by changes in deal structures in the first half of the year, and a reduction of the out-of-bundle data rates in October 2017", said Joosub.
Despite this, the network increased its revenue by 6.3 percent to R86.4-billion. Net profit rose 18.6 percent to ZAR 15.56 billion, boosted by the Safaricom acquisition and a profit from the sale of Helios Towers Tanzania.
The addition of the Kenyan company helped Vodacom increase net profit by almost 19 percent to R15.6-billion.
It announced a final dividend of 425 cents per share, down from 435 cents a year ago.
Headline earnings per share, the main profit measure in South Africa that strips out certain one-off items, was 923 cents, unchanged from a year earlier and falling short of analysts' estimate of 927 cents.
He says this was a solid achievement, given the revenue impact from reducing out-of-bundle data prices by as much as 50% in October past year as well as the early phase investments in new revenue streams, including fibre, content propositions and financial services. The new rules take effect on June 8th. The regulation says operators are not allowed to default to out-of-bundle charges on depletion of bundles, unless specific opt-in from customers is obtained.
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Revenue grew for the year 31 March 2018 by 8.1% to R70bn, driven by smart device sales which account for 70% of total devices sold.
The Vodacom group now reaches more than 103-million customers.
It said it had over the past three years reduced effective voice and data prices by 36.3% and 42.5% respectively, while maintaining revenue growth.
"We added 229,000 contract customers".
Paying for 35% of Kenyan mobile operator Safaricom cost Vodacom shareholders a 15c, or 1.8%, cut in their dividend for the mobile networks' 2018 financial year.
Adding Safaricom helped Vodacom's net profit jump almost 19% to R15.6bn.
"This portfolio produced a 7.4% increase in normalised service revenue on the back of rising customer numbers, strong demand for data and the accelerated uptake of M-Pesa". Safaricom contributed a profit of R1.5 billion in the past financial year.