November 12, 2018 / 6:06 AM / in a month

UPDATE 1-South Africa's Vodacom H1 profit down 13.5 pct

(Adds details)

Nov 12 (Reuters) - South African mobile phone group Vodacom reported a 13.5 percent fall in half-year profit on Monday, weighed down by the issuance of new shares to meet the black ownership target under domestic affirmative action rules.

Headline EPS, the main profit measure in South Africa, came in at 385 cents in the six months through the end of September, compared with 445 cents a year earlier.

Vodacom, a unit of Britain’s Vodafone, issued more than 114 million shares to black investors in July in a 16.4 billion rand deal to meet the ownership target under South African black economic empowerment rules.

The company, which competes with MTN Group, added 373,000 new users during the period, taking its subscriber base to 109 million, it said in results filing.

Vodacom raised dividend payout by 1.3 percent to 395 per share. (Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Sunil Nair)

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