UK-based Vodafone Group has reported a ‘resilient trading performance’ for the quarter ended 31 December 2020, achieving organic service revenue growth of 0.4% year-on-year in the period under review. Total service revenue reached EUR9.357 billion (USD11.3 billion) in the third quarter of its current financial year (ending 31 March 2021), down from EUR9.733 billion in the year-ago quarter. In terms of regional performance, it noted that service revenues in Europe were down 1.1% y-o-y in organic terms, despite a 1.0% increase in Germany. By comparison, Vodacom’s service revenues increased by 3.3% on an annualised basis (organic), with ‘Other Markets’ up by 12.3%. Consolidated group turnover was EUR11.201 billion in Q3 FY21, representing a 4.7% y-o-y decline in reported terms, though the Group did note that in organic terms total revenue was down only 0.3%.
Entering into the final quarter of its current fiscal year, Vodafone Group has reaffirmed its guidance, saying that it expects adjusted EBITDA to be between EUR14.4 billion and EUR14.6 billion in FY21, while free cash flow is forecast to be ‘at least’ EUR5 billion (pre-spectrum and restructuring).
With regards to operational highlights, Vodafone Group said that it had added around 330,000 next generation network (NGN) broadband customers in Europe during the quarter, bringing the year-to-date total additions to more than 1.1 million and bringing its total NGN broadband base to 22.6 million (note: Vodafone Group describes NGNs as being fibre or cable networks ‘typically providing high speed broadband of over 30Mbps.) Meanwhile, its total mobile subscriber base reached 268.456 million as of 31 December 2020, down from 269.843 million a year earlier, but up from the 265.256 million it reported for end-September 2020.
Commenting on the company’s performance, Vodafone Group CEO Nick Read said: ‘I am pleased the Group returned to service revenue growth in Q3 as a result of the continued commercial momentum across our business, including our largest market Germany. Our good trading performance underscores our confidence in the outlook for the full year.’