Published: Sat, July 22, 2017
Sci-tech | By Jackie Newman

Vodafone India adds 3.4 mln 3G/4G customers in Q1

Vodafone India adds 3.4 mln 3G/4G customers in Q1

But the company's 14.2% decline in voice revenue in the April-June period is a tad higher than the 13.2% fall in the prior quarter as the "benefit of higher incoming revenue and a larger customer base was offset by a 32% on-year decline in voice prices as the market moved to unlimited voice tariffs", Vodafone India said.

The figure also surpassed analysts' estimate of 1.4 to 1.9 percent encouraging Vodafone to revise its outlook for the whole year when it expects to raise core earnings by 4 to 8 percent.

In the three months to the end of June, underlying service revenue rose 2.2% year-on-year to €10.3bn (£9.2bn, $12bn), driven higher by growth across all markets except the United Kingdom and India.

British telecommunications group Vodafone reported on Friday a forecast-beating organic service revenue results in its first quarter after strong performance in Italy and Spain as well as a step up in demand in Turkey but saw its overall revenue decline from the prior year.

"Even India, where a vicious price war is forcing Vodafone to merge its operations with rival Idea Cellular, has at least stabilised quarter-on-quarter". The telco also nearly managed to hold on to its average revenue per user (ARPU) at Rs 141, compared with Rs 142 in the previous quarter. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close during the calendar year 2018.

The company reported service revenues of Euro 178.6 million for April-June quarter, up 2.9% on the previous year.

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"While these latest results show that Vodafone is operating a relatively stable business in many foreign markets, the impact of Brexit on its United Kingdom operations is already being felt", said Matthew Kendall, chief telecoms analyst at The Economist Intelligence Unit.

In Ireland the company's service revenue declined 2.5pc in the quarter, however excluding MRTs, revenue in Ireland grew 1.1pc supported by what the company said was "ongoing fixed customer growth".

During the quarter, the operator added 2.9 million mobile customers, ending the quarter with a closing customer base of 211.9 million.

For its broadband services, it added 300,000 customers in the quarter, bringing the total to 15 million.

In its troubled Indian operation, organic service revenue fell 13.9 per cent to €1.39bn, which it put down to price competition.

Shares rose 1.31% to 226.60p in late afternoon trading.

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