Vodafone open to more M&A, says CEO - Mobile World Live

Vodafone open to more M&A, says CEO

20 MAY 2014

Vodafone Group will “definitely consider” more acquisitions said CEO Vittorio Colao, as the company reported stagnant revenue for fiscal 2014.

Over the last year, the company has acquired cable television operators Kabel Deutschland in Germany and Spain’s Ono, as it pursues a quadplay strategy to bolster its core European operations.

The company will look to extract best possible terms from any deal, said Colao. “We will definitely consider more acquisitions but they must come at a reasonable price”.

On a group level, on a statutory basis, Vodafone saw a 0.8 per cent increase in revenue to £38.35 billion for the full-year.

On an operating level, it saw a loss of £3.91 billion, up from a prior-year loss of £2.2 billion.

It reported a profit of £59.42 billion, compared with a prior-year profit of £657 million, bolstered by a £48.1 billion boost from discontinued operations – reflecting the disposal of the Verizon Wireless stake.

Vodafone recorded a £6.6 billion impairment charge on the value of its businesses in Germany, Spain and Portugal, the Czech Republic and Romania, thanks to bracing competition and regulatory pressure in core Europe markets.

The company also forecast an earnings fall this year due to investments associated with Project Spring, the investment programme that has earmarked investment in 4G (3G in emerging markets), fixed broadband and its enterprise business.

The biggest strugglers in Europe are Vodafone’s German and Italian businesses, and while not out of the woods, the UK and Spain are showing signs of improving health.

These four countries along with two emerging markets were picked out by Colao: the stars of the show were India and South Africa, both seen as “good”.

Vodafone India is logging double-digit quarterly revenue growth and is showing impressive usage of data services. There is 30 per cent smartphone penetration in Indian cities.

Data revenue growth is also happening in South Africa where Vodacom has also managed to maintain prepaid ARPU levels despite a falling price per minute.

Overall, Colao noted that 70 per cent of Vodafone’s customers are now in emerging markets


Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

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