Wednesday 16 April 2014

Vodafone Ireland customer numbers unchanged in last quarter at 2.2 million

Vodafone Ireland’s mobile customer numbers remained virtually unchanged in the last quarter at 2.2m, but its parent firm said its operations here, along with those in Spain, Greece and Portugal, remain the "most directly impacted" by current market conditions.

Vodafone said average revenue per user here had remained relatively static in the last quarter despite the economic environment, however. Vodafone said its group EBITDA fell 2.9pc to £6.6bn in the first half of the year, while adjusted operating profit rose 8.5pc to £6.2bn. Its shares fell 3.7pc in early trading.

The company, which has more Irish shareholders than any other company, wrote down the value of its business in Spain and Italy by £5.9bn and lowered its cash flow forecast as recession-hit southern Europeans cut back on using their mobile phones.

The British mobile operator is the latest company to fall victim to a plunge in demand in peripheral euro zone countries, as they drive through austerity measures to reduce government deficits.

Analysts say however that Vodafone is in a better position than many rivals thanks to its strength in faster-growing US and emerging markets, and continues to pay a dividend when others have cut back.

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