Vodacom Group’s positive revenue trend, evident in the first three months of the financial year, persisted into the second quarter, reflecting a robust operating performance. Despite challenges such as higher interest rates, inflation, and currency volatility in our markets affecting earnings, we remain steadfast in delivering our purpose-led strategy. Our commitment focuses on enhancing societal value, delivering customer value, fostering a digital society, ensuring inclusion, and being mindful of our environmental impact.
Recent accolades, including the Ask Afrika Orange Index Award and recognition from ‘Umlaut,’ highlight our dedication to exceptional customer service and network reliability. With 10.4 million new customers in the past 12 months, our total customer base across markets has reached 196.2 million. We anticipate our investments to fuel growth further, targeting an addressable market of over 500 million people.
In education, a critical area of impact, Vodacom continues to make significant strides, reaching 2.3 million learners through digital education initiatives across markets. In South Africa, our response to the power crisis includes increased investment in network resilience and a landmark agreement with Eskom for a ‘Virtual Wheeling Platform,’ driving private sector investment into new energy generation.
Our financial services portfolio experienced accelerated growth, propelled by an expanding mobile money ecosystem, Vodafone Egypt’s strong performance, and Vodacom South Africa’s resilience. This contributed to a 35.5% increase in Group revenue to R72.8 billion. Investments in mitigating loadshedding impacts in South Africa have resulted in industry-leading network availability and a 4.0% increase in service revenue.
In South Africa, new services such as financial and digital services, fixed, and IoT saw an 18.1% increase, contributing R5.1 billion to revenue. VodaPay, our super-app, gained traction with over 7.6 million downloads and 4.1 million registered users.
Vodafone Egypt, the largest acquisition in our history, delivered R14.3 billion in service revenue, contributing 24.1% to Group service revenue. Despite challenging macroeconomics, strong growth in data revenue and financial services doubled to R804 million.
The International business segment reported a 16.6% increase in service revenue to R14.7 billion, with notable growth in data and M-Pesa revenue. Safaricom in Kenya delivered excellent results, and Safaricom Ethiopia, launched in October 2022, has already reached 4.1 million customers.
While facing challenges, including the Competition Commission’s recommendation regarding the proposed purchase of the 30% stake in MAZIV, we remain optimistic about fostering economic development and bridging South Africa’s digital divide. Vodacom, as a resilient company, will continue to act swiftly and execute our strategy, aiming to create immense economic value and address inequality in the markets we operate. Our vision is to provide access to smartphones, financial services, healthcare, and education, fulfilling our overarching purpose.