British telecoms giant Vodafone Group has published a trading update for the second quarter of 2015, revealing a 3.3% year-on-year increase in organic revenue, though reported turnover was actually down by 0.9%.
In the three months ended 30 June 2015 Vodafone Group generated a total turnover of GBP10.113 billion (USD15.48 billion), with the decline in reported terms said to have included a 3.1 percentage point favourable impact from mergers and acquisitions and a 7.3 percentage point adverse impact from foreign exchange movements. On an organic basis group service revenue was up by 0.8% against 2Q 2014 at GBP9.169 billion, while excluding the impact of mobile termination rate (MTR) cuts it was actually up by 1.4%.
With regards to the company’s ‘Project Spring’ investment programme, Vodafone Group said it was continuing to make ‘great progress’, revealing that it is now 71% of the way through the project, with some 80,000 mobile sites having been modernised across all of its subsidiaries. Further, it confirmed it has added a further 36,000 2G, 47,000 3G and 41,000 4G base stations, while 71,000 sites have been upgraded to high capacity backhaul since the programme got underway. As a result of such work Vodafone Group now claims that its 4G outdoor population coverage in Europe is 75%, up from 52% at end-June 2015, and it says it is on track to increase that to more than 90% by the end of March 2016. Meanwhile, in terms of fixed line developments, the group said it has extended its own next generation cable and fibre networks to a further 820,000 households in the second quarter of 2015, bringing the total number of households passed in Europe to 26 million, or 62 million including wholesale arrangements.
In terms of subscriber numbers, as at end-June 2015 Vodafone Group reported a total of 449.193 million mobile customers at that date, up from 445.836 million three months earlier. Notably, the company also revealed that of that total 24.1 million had signed up to a 4G service across the 18 markets where its subsidiaries had introduced such connectivity. Moreover, Vodafone Group said that 4G now accounts for 35% of all data traffic in its European markets. Fixed line broadband accesses meanwhile totalled 12.313 million at the end of the reporting period, up from 12.049 million at end-March 2015.
Commenting on the quarterly performance, Vodafone Group chief executive Vittorio Colao said: ‘We have made a good start to the year. Our emerging markets have maintained their strong momentum and more of our European businesses are returning to growth, as customer demand for 4G and data takes off.’