NASTASSIA ARENDSE: Vodacom published interims today. However, the share price closed down after the company reduced its first-half dividend amid weaker economic conditions. To paint more colour as to the six-months is Shameel Joosub, the CEO of Vodacom. Shameel, thanks so much for your time this evening.
SHAMEEL JOOSUB: Thanks, Nastassia, for having us.
NASTASSIA ARENDSE: Take me through the past six months for the Vodacom Group.
SHAMEEL JOOSUB: First, from a revenue perspective, 4.6% up; 6.9% on a constant currency basis. The big issue obviously is the internationals still having lots of currency fluctuations.
Strong revenue growth in South Africa, still having lots of currency fluctuations. Strong revenue growth in South Africa of 7.7%, and 4.3 million customers being added in the half. There are 71 million customers now across the group and, if we include Safaricom, we now have just over 100 million customers. And net profit up 7%, boosted by the Safaricom acquisition. Two months of actuals in the numbers. Obviously the dividend was always going to be affected because, remember, we issued more shares for the acquisition of Safaricom. So you are dividing by a bigger share base.
NASTASSIA ARENDSE: In terms of the next six months between you and your team what will be some of the things you’ll be prioritising?
SHAMEEL JOOSUB: A few things. One is obviously the monetisation of data across the footprint – in South Africa as well. I think we did a lot in terms of giving away a lot of free data, also on the shape. But we’ve got to continue to monetise data going forward across the footprint.
I think spectrum focus and spectrum acquisition across all the markets is a clear priority. And then continued growth in entries and in the new businesses that we are focusing on.
NASTASSIA ARENDSE: Alright, Shameel, thank you so much for your time this evening.