Britain’s Vodafone Group has revealed a slowdown in turnover growth in the last three months of 2011, with organic service revenue – which excludes currency fluctuations and acquisitions – rising by just 0.9% year-on-year to GBP10.61 billion (USD16.7 billion). The company cited the ‘further deterioration’ of economic conditions in Southern Europe as one of the key reasons for the slowdown, with results from its subsidiaries in the region dragging down overall revenue growth. While the quarter saw Vodafone register notable organic service revenue growth in India (up 20% year-on-year) and Turkey (up 23.5%), its Spanish and Italian subsidiaries saw turnover fall by 8.8% and 4.9% respectively. Overall, the group’s Africa, Middle East and Pacific reporting unit registered a 7.6% organic annual increase in service revenues, while combined its European operations saw a 1.7% decline in the same period.
Looking forward, Vodafone Group forecast that adjusted operating profit for the current financial year (April 2011 to March 2012) is expected to be between GBP11.4 billion and GBP11.8 billion, as it had previously suggested back in November last year. The group’s full year EBITDA margin decline, meanwhile, is still expected to come in at a lower rate than in FY2010/11, with free cash flow expected to be in the range of GBP6.0 billion to GBP6.5 billion.
In operational terms, at the end of December 2011 Vodafone Group’s total subscriber base reached 398.13 million, up 1.7% quarter-on-quarter, of which 80.4% were pre-paid.
Vittorio Colao, Vodafone Group CEO, said of the company’s quarterly performance: ‘We are continuing to make progress in the key strategic areas of data, enterprise and emerging markets. Despite the further deterioration of the southern European economic environment during the quarter, our broad geographic mix is delivering a resilient overall performance.’