Johannesburg - Vodacom [JSE:VOD]
, the South African unit of Britain's Vodafone, reported a 22% rise in first-half profit on Monday, helped by strong growth in data and a favourable tax change.
Vodacom said in a statement that diluted headline earnings per share (EPS) for the six months to end-Septemebr came in 394.6 cents, compared with 322.3c in the same period a year earlier.
The company had already flagged it expected earnings growth of between 20% and 25%. Headline EPS, the main measure of profit in South Africa, excludes certain one-time items.
Revenue totalled R34.4bn, up from R31.7bn a year earlier.
The company said its number of "active customers" increased by 21% to 50.1 million, and raised its interim dividend per share by nearly 27%, to 355c.
Vodacom is the dominant mobile carrier in Africa's top economy, but is dwarfed by rival MTN Group elsewhere on the continent.
New chief executive Shameel Joosub, who took over in September, has said the company no longer plans to exit the Democratic Republic of Congo, where it has been locked in a longstanding dispute with its local partner.
Vodacom is in the process of rolling out high-speed 4G service in South Africa.
Shares of Vodacom are up more than 20% so far this year, compared with a 16% rise in the Top-40.