Increase in iPhone subscribers helps Vodafone revenue rise to £10.6bn
VODAFONE, which is the world's biggest mobile telecoms provider, beat analyst expectations yesterday as its organic service revenue for the quarter to the end of June rose 1.1pc to just under £10.6bn (€12.6bn), boosted by more subscribers using Apple's iPhone.
In Ireland, the company said its blended average monthly revenue per user fell 9.1pc to €35.10 during the quarter. The blended figure includes the monthly spend by both contract and pre-paid customers.
It added 6,000 net new customers during the quarter in Ireland, bringing its mobile subscriber base to 2.14 million. Just over two-thirds of those customers avail of pre-paid services. The company has a total of 2.35 million customers in Ireland, which includes almost 198,000 who avail of its fixed-line and fixed-line broadband services. The company is the biggest mobile telecoms provider in Ireland. Vodafone's total revenue in the first quarter of its financial year climbed 4.8pc to £11.26bn (€13.4bn), while revenue from data services, such as the provision of mobile broadband, rose 25pc to £1.2bn (€1.4bn) year-on-year.
Analysts had been expecting Vodafone to report a fall of 0.4pc in its organic service revenue for the period and the surprise performance sent the company's shares nearly 3pc higher to £1.53 in early London trading. Vodafone chief executive Vittorio Colao said yesterday that the increased focus by the company on the provision of data services had been the "right bet".
Irish Vodafone customers sent nearly 1.3 billion text messages in the last quarter, 17pc more than in the corresponding quarter in 2009, while they used 1.64 billion voice minutes, up 3pc year-on-year.
Mr Colao said Vodafone will continue to divert resources towards the development of the company's data services offering, but Vodafone's sprawling acquisitions record has also been called into question by one of its shareholders.
The Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan (OTPP) this week called on Vodafone to re-examine its acquisition record. OTPP owns 0.42pc of Vodafone.
It described the company's mergers and acquisitions history as "disastrous" and demanded the resignation of the telecom operator's chairman, John Bond, and deputy chairman John Buchanan.
OTPP said Vodafone trades at a "substantial, persistent" discount to its asset value.