Vodafone results show its Irish business steadying
Published 25/07/2015 | 02:30
Vodafone Ireland appears to have stemmed a recent slide in its financial performance.
The global telecoms group said service revenue was flat here in the three months to the end of June, compared to a 6.4pc decline in the previous quarter.
It also said overall subscriber numbers remained steady, with a decline in prepay customers offset by a gain in more lucrative contract subscribers.
It lost 16,000 prepay customers in the last quarter, compared to the 37,000 shed in the previous three months. Vodafone now has just over two million prepay customers in Ireland. However, the drop in prepay customers was balanced out by an increase of 18,000 in contract customers and a rise of 1,000 in the number of fixed-line broadband consumers.
Vodafone's Irish operations made a €100m pre-tax profit in the 12 months to the end of 2014, 14pc less than in the previous financial year, accounts for the business published earlier this year showed.
The wider Vodafone group yesterday reported an acceleration in its main quarterly sales growth, as a cable TV acquisition in its biggest market Germany lifted sales and consolidated the overall return to growth for the British firm.
Group revenue stood at just over £10bn.
The world's second-largest mobile operator, which reported a return to quarterly sales growth for the first time in nearly three years in May, has been hit by constraints on consumer spending in its big European markets, fierce competition in India and by regulator-imposed price cuts around the world.
In Ireland, it will also face increased competition with the imminent entry of Carphone Warehouse to the mobile operator market.
Vodafone said first-quarter organic service revenue grew 0.8pc, ahead of the 0.1pc it recorded in the previous three months, slightly ahead of forecasts of around 0.5pc.
"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," chief executive Vittorio Colao said.
Vodafone said organic sales in Germany were down 1.2pc, compared to the 3.5pc fall in the fourth quarter, helped by the inclusion of its Kabel Deutschland TV business.
Vodafone's British market also returned to growth, while Italy also showed signs of stabilising.