Vodafone reports growth for the first time since 2008

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Group revenues and earnings up 2.3 per cent and 2.7 per cent respectively, driven by its first growth in Europe for six years

Vodafone has posted global revenue and earnings increases for the full year, helped by its first growth in Europe since 2010.

Revenues for the year ending March 31, 2016 rose 2.3 per cent to £40.9 billion, while earnings were up 2.7 per cent to £11.6 billion.

Vodafone said this was driven by international growth, primarily through operations in South Africa, Egypt and Turkey.

The operator’s European business grew for the first time in six years during the first three months of this calendar year, with revenues up 0.5 per cent to £6.3 billion.

Vodafone now has 46.8 million 4G customers in Europe with 87 per cent coverage, as well as 13.4 million broadband customers across the continent, with high-speed broadband available in 30 million on-net homes.

It also announced the conclusion of its Project Spring investment programme, which has seen it spend £19 billion on upgrades to its network over the past two years.

Positive momentum

Vodafone Group chief executive Vittorio Colao (pictured) said: “This has been a year of strong execution for the Group, returning to organic growth in both revenue and EBITDA for the first time since 2008. We achieved the first quarter of positive revenue growth in Europe since December 2010.

“We have now successfully concluded our Project Spring organic investment programme. This has transformed the quality of our technology, enhancing our customers’ experience and enabling us to expand our Enterprise services.

“Looking forward, we will continue to invest in our customer excellence programmes in both mobile and converged services. I am confident we will sustain our positive momentum in the coming year, allowing us to maintain attractive returns for our shareholders.’’

Mixed UK results

In the UK, service revenues for the year fell 0.3 per cent on a like-for-like basis to £5.85 billion. Vodafone attributed this to a slowdown in mobile, reflecting changes following a billing system migration. Earnings decreased 4.2 per cent to £1.35 billion.

Vodafone now has a customer base of 18.4 million, having added just 1,000 contract customers and losing 199,999 prepay customers in the most recent quarter.

However, over the past six months, it has added 1.7 million 4G customers to increase that base to seven million. Based on its own estimates, coverage has reached 84 per cent, which it said was despite delays in the pace of expansion.

 

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