Vodafone Group CEO Vittorio Colao (pictured) is prepared for the Italian market to “warm up” with the entry of newcomer Iliad and revealed continued woes in India where revenue dropped 27 per cent year-on-year in the final three months of 2017.
Speaking at the company’s trading update for its fiscal Q3, Colao lamented “excessive” and “below the line” discount offers from smaller providers in Italy, adding his company had so far “stayed out” of competing with these deals.
However, with the expected entry of Iliad, Colao said the market was set to heat up and the next quarter would be “very interesting to watch”. Its Italy unit contributed 18 per cent of its European revenue during the quarter.
Iliad – which shook the French market with the launch of discount brand Free Mobile in 2012 – is in the process of preparing an Italian launch. Ahead of the challenger’s entry, Vodafone increased allowances on its tariffs and stepped-up efforts to offer converged services.
Although India is excluded from overall Vodafone Group figures, a pending merger with Idea Cellular means the company continues to provide updates for the unit.
Vodafone India’s revenue in fiscal Q3 declined 26.6 per cent year-on-year to €1.1 billion. The drop was attributed to new regulation on termination fees and continued price-pressures in the country following the entry of Reliance Jio in September 2016.
Colao added the regulatory process for the merger was going well and likely to be complete in the first half of 2018.
Vodafone Group’s fiscal Q3 revenue fell 3.6 per cent year-on-year to €11.8 billion, due mostly to the removal of figures relating to its VodafoneZiggo joint venture from overall earnings. Profit and loss are not reported in fiscal Q3.
The company said the results were in-line with expectation.