The headline earnings dropped from 439 cents in 2013 to 415 in 2014 of the same comparable period.
[DATA VOD:Vodacom Group Limited] revenue increased 2.3 per cent while service revenue surged by 1.7 per cent.
“Excluding the impact of a 50 per cent cut in mobile termination rates ('MTRs') in South Africa, both Group revenue and service revenue increased five per cent,” Vodacom said in a statement.
The group’s active customers increased 13.3 per cent to 61.0 million during the same period with strong growth in group data revenue of 24.7 per cent; active data customers up 27.6 per cent to 25.9 million.
(READ MORE: Strong customer progress drives Vodacom’s growth)
Vodacom’s Group CEO Shameel Aziz Joosub said the company had performed well against the odds.
“We have faced tough macroeconomic conditions in all markets, increased competitive intensity, and have also seen a significant impact from lower mobile termination rates ('MTRs') in South Africa,” he said.
“Against that backdrop Vodacom performed well, adding 7.2 million customers to take our total customer base to 61 million and increasing revenue by 2.3 per cent to R37.5 billion.”
The group also reported South Africa service revenue declining by 1.3 per cent; service revenue growing 2.9 per cent excluding the MTR cuts.
International operations' service revenue grew 13 per cent representing 24 per cent of Group service revenue with earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) growing 21.1 per cent representing 16.8 per cent of Group EBITDA.
“We continue to make good progress on our pricing transformation journey. We have executed well on our strategy to offer better value to customers through a clear segmented approach where we offer bundles at affordable prices and postpaid integrated plans which contain generous allocations of voice minutes, SMSs and data,” read the group statement on SENS.
(READ MORE: Vodacom prioritises mobile data to improve network penetration)
“This has enabled us to reduce our blended average effective price per minute by 19 per cent, resulting in a 17.6 per cent increase in total outgoing traffic.”
Vodacom’s international businesses achieved strong customer growth of 19.8 per cent, taking the total number of customers to 28.4 million. Total voice traffic growth was robust at 61.2 per cent.
Service revenue grew 13 per cent to 7.6 billion rand.
“Overall growth was impacted by intense price competition and regulatory challenges. Tanzania is progressing through a prolonged pricing repair, with improvement towards the end of the period as price competition stabilises.”
The group says conditions are likely to remain tough going forward.
“Conditions are expected to remain challenging in the short-term, particularly in South Africa where the continued impact of lower mobile termination rates, constrained consumer spend, and intense competitive pressure are all factors,” said Vodacom.
“In the international markets, particularly Tanzania and the DRC, continued pricing pressure is also likely to have an impact. However, positive trends in the adoption of smart devices and data usage will help to offset this, as will the ongoing focus on reducing operating expenditure.”