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Vodafone revenue down 0.9%; India revenue up 6.9%, leads growth

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BENGALURU: The Vodafone Group reported resurgence in the Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific region (AMAP), with Turkey showing a 15 per cent y-o-y organic growth followed by India with 6.9 per cent organic growth. The Group’s reported service revenue declined 2.9 per cent y-o-y to €9169 million, while growing organically by 2.9 per cent.

Note: Organic growth presents performance on a comparable basis, both in terms of merger and acquisition activity and movements in foreign exchange rates.

The Group’s India reported service revenue grew by 10.6 per cent to €1133 million in Q1-2016 as compared to the €1024 million in Q1-2015 on with continued customer base growth and acceleration in the take-up of 3G offsetting continued pressure on voice pricing.

Also, data revenue in India grew 65 per cent supported by the addition of 3.1 million new data customers, taking the total to 66.8 million. Vodafone says that smartphone penetration in India is now 26 per cent across the country and 47 per cent in the four metro circles and now has 22 million 3G customers compared to 10 million a year ago.

The Group says that while total voice traffic continues to grow, the outgoing rate per minute has continued to decline, reflecting increased competition. The average minutes of use per customer is lower than a year ago but has increased slightly compared to the previous quarter. Total mobile customers increased 1.6 million giving a closing customer base of 185.4 million.

Further, the Group informs that the progress on Project Spring in India remains strong with 1,000 2G sites and 1,100 3G sites added in the quarter (14,000 2G and 21,000 3G since the build commenced), taking Vodafone India’s 3G outdoor population coverage in targeted urban areas to 91 per cent. Vodafone India is now trialing 4G services across selected areas and continues to expand its M-Pesa service and now has 501,000 active customers supported by 94,000 agents.

Q-o-q, Vodafone India led subscriber base growth with an increase of 0.86 per cent to 185.384 million with net post-paid (contract) additions of 449,000 and net prepaid additions of 1.132 million as compared to the 183.803 million in Q4-2015.

Overall, Vodafone Group’s subscriber base grew 0.75 per cent to 449.193 million with 1.296 million post-paid and 2.111 million prepaid customers as compared to the 445.836 million in Q4-2015.

Vodafone Group’s AMAP region continues to grow strongly, with organic service revenue increasing 6.1 per cent (Q4: 5.8 per cent) with growth in all major markets. Excluding the impact of MTR (Mobile Termination rates are the charges which one telecommunications operator charges to another for terminating calls on its network) cuts, organic service revenue increased 7.7 per cent (Q4: 7.3 per cent). The region continues to see strong customer growth, with 4.3 million added in the quarter, and an increasing number of the Group’s customers are now using data, with 6.6 million active data users added in the quarter. Customer usage continues to grow throughout the region, with voice and data usage up 7 per cent and 97 per cent respectively. Total AMP revenue increased 5.5 per cent, including a 2.5 percentage point adverse impact from foreign exchange movements.

Europe reported and organic revenues declined y-o-y by 6.2 and 1.5 per cent respectively. The Vodafone Group reported revenue declined 0.9 per cent in Q1-2016 (Quarter ended 30 June, 2015) to €10113 million, while organic revenue grew 3.3 per cent.

Vodafone’s Europe reported revenue declined 3.1 per cent to €6501 million, but grew organically by 1.1 per cent as compared to the €6768 million in the corresponding year ago quarter. As mentioned above, Europe’s reported and organic service revenue declined by 6.2 and 1.5 per cent respectively to €5793 million in Q1-2016 as compared to the €6367 million in Q1-2015.

Vodafone Group CEO Vittorio Colao said, “We have made a good start to the year. 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. We continue to hit our Project Spring build milestones and customers are beginning to value the improvement in service that is resulting: contract churn in Europe is now falling and mobile ARPU trends are stabilising in a number of key markets. Our other key growth areas – unified communications and enterprise – are performing strongly, benefiting from the increased capabilities and footprint that our higher levels of investment are delivering. However, our markets are, as always, highly competitive and we therefore have to remain very focused on efficiency, cost control, and excellent value and service to customers, while continuing to deliver a good return for shareholders.”

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