Vodafone to invest €250m in Irish network upgrade

Vodafone Ireland is to invest more than €250m in further improving its network here, which would take total investment in the past four years to around €800m.

“We are committed to driving the agenda for a gigabit society for Ireland and will invest over €250m in 2016/2017 in our network and IT transformation programme,” said Vodafone Ireland chief executive Anne O’Leary. 

“Our performance in this quarter continues a positive upward momentum across the business and reflects both the ongoing strength of our core mobile and broadband business, as well as the growth across our converged service offerings.”

Ms O’Leary was speaking as Vodafone published first- half financial figures, which included a 1.6% year-on-year increase in service revenue to €484m for the Irish operations.

Vodafone’s share price is down 15% in the last three months. It dipped nearly 2%, yesterday before recovering, after it reported a first-half group net loss of €5bn after writing down the value of its Indian business due to the start of a price war in the country.

Chief executive Vittorio Colao said an improvement in Vodafone’s European markets was “modestly ahead” of expectations, led by Germany and Italy, but competition in India had intensified and was expected to hit its cashflow. 

The three biggest players in the Indian market are leader Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, and Idea Cellular. They have seen the market thrown into turmoil by the arrival of Reliance Jio Infocomm, which is backed by India’s richest businessman Mukesh Ambani.

Vodafone said it intends to proceed with the IPO of its Indian unit as soon as market conditions allow, but not before next March.

Vodafone reported earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of €7.9bn for the six months to the end of September; up 4.3% and beating a €7.8bn consensus forecast.

Organic service revenue was up 2.4% in the second-quarter, it said, ahead of the 2.2% recorded in the first and beating forecasts of a slight decline.

Additional reporting by Reuters


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