UK-based telecoms giant Vodafone Group has published its financial results for the quarter ended 31 December 2019, revealing a 6.8% year-on-year increase in revenue, which it said reflected ‘the contribution from the acquired Liberty Global assets, partially offset by the disposal of Vodafone New Zealand and foreign exchange headwinds’. For the three-month period under review Vodafone Group generated a total turnover of EUR11.750 billion (USD12.98 billion), up from EUR10.998 billion in the corresponding quarter of 2018, while service revenues reached EUR9.733 billion, up 6.3% on a reported basis. Group organic service revenue, meanwhile, increased by only 0.8% y-o-y, with the carrier noting that growth in the ‘majority’ of markets had been offset by continued declines in Italy and Spain, as a result of ‘elevated competition’ in those two markets. Group service revenue from its ‘Europe’ operations totalled EUR7.586 billion in the fiscal third-quarter, compared to EUR6.953 billion a year earlier, while the ‘Rest of the World’ segment recorded service revenues of EUR2.053 billion, down marginally from EUR2.105 billion.
In operational terms, Vodafone Group’s aggregate mobile subscriber base totalled 269.843 million as at end-December 2019, down from 275.216 million a year earlier. By contrast the number of fixed broadband accesses on the carrier’s books continued to increase, rising to 23.098 million at the end of last year, representing an increase of more than 35% from the 17.056 million reported for end-2018, bolstered by the acquisition of assets from Liberty Global in Germany and Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Similarly, pay-TV accesses also saw a notable rise, nearly doubling from 9.715 million to reach 18.165 million at end-2019, while fixed voice line customers increased from 15.226 million to stand at 19.993 million at the end of the reporting period.
Commenting on the company’s performance, Vodafone Group’s chief executive, Nick Read, said: ‘I am pleased with the pace at which we have executed our commercial and strategic priorities, which has allowed us to maintain our momentum in the quarter. Competition in Europe remains challenging, primarily in the value segment, however we continued to improve customer loyalty and to grow in broadband, and we achieved good growth in Africa. We expect a further gradual improvement in service revenue growth in Q4, led by Europe.’