Vodafone CEO slams German performance - Mobile World Live

Vodafone CEO slams German performance

17 MAY 2022

Vodafone Group CEO Nick Read (pictured) hauled up Germany for its less than pleasing commercial performance in fiscal 2022 (to 31 March 2022), which he blamed on factors including lower footfall at retail outlets and ongoing issues with customer support systems.

Although Read noted during an earnings presentation today (17 May) Vodafone Germany recorded revenue gains, he noted a weakening of its performance over the past 18 months.

Read said Vodafone Germany had declined to “an unsatisfactory level”, with work underway to improve the situation in what is the operator group’s largest European market with a 30 per cent share of group service revenue.

He pointed to recent positive trends in net additions for fixed and mobile services, and confirmed the operator is exploring plans to create a joint venture (JV) company to focus on building fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) networks for housing associations in Germany.

“We are currently evaluating investment and build partners and I look forward to updating you further on this project through the year ahead. This overall German plan will be led by Philippe Rogge, who joins us from Microsoft in July, along with a strengthened German team.”

Read said improvements had been made to stabilise the group’s performance in the highly competitive Spanish market, but more needs to be done.

Although Vodafone had “not been able to participate in the recently-proposed consolidation in Spain”, Read indicated it remains “open to pragmatic alternative structural solutions that create or unlock value for our shareholders”.

He also noted progress in other areas, “which are to strengthen our in-market mobile positions in Europe and move Vantage Towers to a co-control structure”.

“We’re actively pursuing a range of live opportunities”.

Challenging climate
Vodafone indicated its financial performance in the current fiscal year is likely to be impacted by the current macroeconomic climate, particularly rising inflation.

In fiscal 2022, group revenue increased 4 per cent to €45.6 billion, primarily owing to service revenue growth in Europe and Africa.

The group also posted a much higher profit of €2.6 billion compared with €500 million, mostly due to higher adjusted EBITDA and lower income tax.