Thursday 22 February 2018

Vodafone writes off €8bn in tough trading conditions

Vodafone has struck deal with Verizon.
Vodafone has struck deal with Verizon.
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

TELECOMMUNICATIONS giant Vodafone has written off £6.6bn (€8.1bn) across five European countries vying for business in difficult markets, while revenue slumped 1.9pc.

It has been a mixed picture for the company, with a strong performance in emerging markets but the group has faced difficult conditions in Europe due to economic, competitive and regulatory challenges.

In Ireland, the company said that it enjoyed a 14pc increase in contract customers, and maintained its total customer base of 2.4 million people.

Its fixed line customer base increased by 3.2pc year-on-year and 1.5pc in the last quarter to reach 256,600.

The group wrote down £6.6m in Germany, Spain, Portugal, Czech Republic and Romania due to lower projected cash flows.

Group chief executive Vittorio Colao said the overall operational performance had been mixed. "The group's emerging markets businesses have performed strongly throughout the year: we have executed our strategy well and have successfully positioned ourselves for the rapid growth in data we are now witnessing," he said.

"In Europe, where we continue to face competitive, regulatory and macro-economic pressures, we have taken steps to improve our commercial performance, particularly in Germany and Italy, and are beginning to see encouraging early signs."

Vodafone has taken the lead on improving its network, earmarking billions for investment in Europe and across its emerging market operations in a bid to get ahead of its rivals, after selling its US business in a $130bn deal.

It bought cable operators in Germany and Spain to increase the range of services it can sell.

The mobile phone giant, which has been investing in 4G rollout, said 4.7 million customers now have access in 14 markets.

Irish Independent

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