Vodacom Group (Proprietary) Limited ("Vodacom" or "Vodacom Group") (unlisted), South Africa's leading mobile communications group, in which Telkom has a 50.0% holding, announced a quarterly update for the three months ended June, 30, 2004. As of June 30, 2004, Vodacom Group recorded 12.4 million customers on its networks operated in South Africa and other African countries, a 10.8% increase in the three months since March 31, 2004. The Group's international operations comprised 1.8 million, or 14.8% of the total customer base.
Vodacom South Africa increased its customer base by 8.8% since March 31, 2004 to 10.6 million customers. Vodacom South Africa's customer base consisted of 1.5 million contract customers and 9.0 million prepaid customers, increases of 6.8% and 9.2% since March 31, 2004 respectively. South African ARPU decreased from R177 per month for the year to March 31, 2004 to R164 per month for the year-to-date June 30, 2004 primarily because of the higher proportion of prepaid customers in the total base, seasonal fluctuations in customer spending patterns and the higher proportion of inactive customers and lower churn which resulted from the change in Vodacom's disconnection policy. Customers, ARPU, 3-month inactive statistics and churn as at and for the year-to-date June 30, 2004 compared with March 31, 2004 for Vodacom South Africa are as follows:
|Vodacom South Africa||March 31,
|Community services telephones||23||23||-|
|Community services telephones||2,155||2,387||10.8|
|3-month inactive customers as % of
|Churn (%)||36.6||13.6||(23.0 pts)|
Vodacom's other African operations increased its total customer base by 23.7% since March 31, 2004 to 1.8 million customers. Vodacom Mozambique, which only started commercial operations in December 2003, had 111,000 customers by June 30, 2004. ARPU declined substantially in all of Vodacom's other African operations mainly because of highly competitive trading conditions, seasonal spending patterns of customers and Rand strength. The Rand strengthened by 8.4% against the US Dollar from an average of R7.17 for the year ended March 31, 2004 compared to a year-to-date average of R6.57 for the quarter to June 30, 2004.
Vodacom's other African operations' customers, year-to-date ARPU and churn as of June 30, 2004 compared to March 31, 2004 are as follows:
|Other African operations||March 31,
|Churn (%)||30.0||24.7||(5.3 pts)|
|Churn (%)||20.2||9.7||(10.5 pts)|
|Churn (%)||65.1||0.1||(65.0 pts)|
|Churn (%)||0.3||0.1||(0.2 pts)|
|Other African customers (thousands)||1,492||1,845||23.7|
8 June 2004