Vodafone Sees Revenues Grow in Emerging Markets, Fall in Europe

Vodafone has announced its results for the last financial year – and its something of a mixed bag. The Vodafone Group took a total £46.4bn in revenue, up 1.2 per cent on last year. The telco also reported a drop in operating profits of 2.4 per cent, however, down to £11.5bn.

Europe proved the main source of difficulty for Vodafone over the course of the year, with service revenues falling 1.1 per cent. While the operator continued to grow in northern European markets, including the UK and Germany, it had a harder time in southern Europe, in particular Italy and Spain, due to strong competition and the poor economic climate.

The company has had more success in emerging markets across the AMAP (Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific) region, where it saw service revenue grow 8 per cent. India was a particular source of success, with service revenues growing 19.5 per cent.

In his Chief Executives statement, Vittorio Colao identified mobile data as the number-one strategic priority for the company going forward. Data service revenues grew 22 per cent, accounting for a total 14.5 per cent of total services revenues. That came at the cost of voice revenue, which fell 6 per cent.

“Data services offer the single biggest growth opportunity for the mobile industry since the launch of voice services over 25 years ago,” said Colao. “Our goal over the next three years is to continue to strengthen our technology and commercial platforms through reliable and secure high speed data networks, significantly enhanced customer service across all channels, and improved data pricing models, to enrich customers’ experience and maximise our share of value in the markets in which we operate.”

Vodafone warned that its revenue might not achieve the forecasted growth, of 1-4 per cent, in the current financial year. According to the report: “Given larger regulatory reductions than previously envisaged, we now expect organic service revenue growth in the 2013 financial year to be slightly below our previous medium term guidance range.”