EBITDA fell by 4.1 per cent to £1.3 billion but Group posted rise in quarterly sales for first time in three years
Vodafone saw UK revenues remain flat year-on-year at £6.4 billion but EBITDA fell by 4.1 per cent to £1.3 billion, according to its yearly financial results.
The UK’s third largest operator said that a 5.8 per cent decline in fixed service revenue from to £1.6 billion was offset by a 0.5 per cent increase in mobile revenue, leading to a 0.2 per cent dip in revenue overall.
4G coverage in the UK reached 63 per cent by March 31, when the financial year ended, with three million Vodafone customers using the service.
Capital expenditure grew from the £932 million spent in the UK in FY14 to £980 million.
Customer numbers fell from 19.8 million at the end of January to 18.4 million at the end of March, 35 per cent of which was pre-paid.
During the quarter fixed line customer base grew slightly by 2,000 to 66,000 by the end of the financial year, leading to a YOY increase in fixed line revenue from £423 million to £504 million.
Group sales up
Across the Vodafone Group, quarterly sales grew for the first time in three years, up 0.1 per cent following 10 successive quarters of decline.
Year-on-year, Group revenue rose by 10.1 per cent to £42 billion, while EBITDA rose 7.5 per cent to £11.9 billion.
The operator said it is now 63 per cent through its £20 billion Project Spring investment, which has brought 4G to 72 per cent of its European markets. Vodafone said it now has 20.2 million customers using 4G in 18 markets, an increase of 81 per cent on March 2014.
Group mobile customer numbers rose from 443 million at the beginning of January to 445 million on March 31, with 80.2 per cent of its base pre-paid. The biggest growth came in India, where it gained more than five million customers.
Vodafone Group CEO Vittorio Colao (pictured) said: “It has been a year of continued progress, culminating with a return to organic growth in Q4. We have seen increasing signs of stabilisation in many of our European markets, supported by improvements in our commercial execution and very strong demand for data.
“In fixed line, revenue trends are improving supported by accelerating customer growth, and our recent cable acquisitions provide a strong platform for further growth. In emerging markets, our good growth trend has continued, driven by rising data penetration and leading network quality and distribution.
“We have significant opportunities ahead of us, with only 13 per cent of our European mobile customers using 4G, and our market share in fixed services only a fraction of our share in mobile. In addition, businesses around the world are increasingly looking to put mobility at the centre of their own strategies.
“With the assets and skills we have today, further enhanced by the completion of Project Spring, we will be strongly positioned to provide ever improving services to customers and seize these opportunities.”
Services to other businesses made-up 27 per cent of the Group’s service revenue, and 32 per cent in Europe, according to the financial statement.
According to Vodafone, half of all its new enterprise customers asked for converged solutions, with revenue from fixed line making up 25 per cent of all enterprise service revenue.
Vodafone’s machine-to-machine (M2M) connections grew from 16.1 million at the end of FY14 to 21.5 million at the end of FY15, with M2M revenue up 24.7 per cent.
Vodafone said it now boasts 3.9 million users of its integrated cloud solution One Net across 11 markets – an increase of 13 per cent YOY.