Vodafone has reported a 1.1% year-on-year increase in its Irish revenues for the first quarter of its current financial year, with customer numbers, here, rising by nearly 7%.
It represents a good start to the year for Vodafone Ireland which had seen its yearly revenues for the 12 months to the end of March dip below the €1bn mark and customer numbers slip under the two million mark.
In the three months to the end of June, Vodafone Ireland generated service revenue of €235.1m, up 1.1% on the same period last year and ahead by 2.3% on the final quarter of the last financial year. Customer numbers grew by 6.9% or 264,000 subscriptions.
On an overall basis, Vodafone Ireland’s first quarter revenues were down by 2.9%, year-on-year, from €242m.
However, the underlying figure excludes mobile termination rate (MTR) revenues — generated by charging other providers for cross network customer phone usage — which were phased out by the regulator towards the end of last year.
On a group-wide basis, Vodafone, which is ranked as the world’s second largest mobile operator, reported better-than-expected 2.2% revenue growth in its first quarter, reflecting a robust performance in Italy and Spain and an acceleration in demand in Turkey.
The British company said the increase in organic service revenue, which beat analysts’ consensus forecast for a 1.6% rise, boosted its confidence in its prospects for the full year when it expects to grow core earnings by 4%-8%.
“We made a good start to the year with a robust commercial momentum in Europe and accelerating growth in AMAP [Africa, Middle-East and Asia-Pacific],” chief executive Vittorio Colao said.
Vodafone expects cash flow to jump this year, enabling it to increase dividends, as it eases back on network investment, improves efficiency and tackles intense competition in India by merging with a rival.
The company has invested billions in its networks to meet surging demand for mobile data.
Mr Colao said the rise in data traffic seen in the first quarter was the equivalent to total data traffic just two years ago.
Areas of weakness remained in Europe, however. Growth in Germany halved to 0.6%, from 1.2% in the previous quarter, which was put down to lower wholesale revenue and accounting changes a year ago.
And although its performance in its problematic British market improved, it was still down 2.7%, with enterprise revenue declining in what it said was a competitive market.
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