Vodafone is in the black thanks to strong data revenue growth, but the company’s troubles in Spain and Italy are still a burden.
The company’s third quarter results reaffirm the company’s guidance issued last quarter, of £11.4-11.8m for the 2012 financial year, which ends on 31 March.
The company’s revenues remain pretty flat for the quarter however, with just 0.9% growth. While the company has seen strong economic growth in India (20%) and African subsidiary Vodacom (8%), however, services in Italy and Spain fell by 4.9% and 8.8% respectively, reflecting those countries’ wider economic woes in the Eurozone.
The company’s minority partnership with Verizon Wireless in the US has also seen revenues up by 6.8%, boosted by the company’s 4G LTE mobile network, which it claims is now available to 200 million US customers.
The company’s capital expenditure dropped by 5.2% to £1.5 billion, reflecting enhancements to Vodacom’s transmission networks and investment in 4G LTE technology in Germany. The UK is not expected to get 4G LTE mobile networks until 2013-2015, which will hit the company’s books in the 2013-2014 financial years.
The company also noted increased data usage (+21.8%) amongst its customers, reflecting the wider uptake of smartphones which now account for 55% of the market according to IDC. Smartphones are only expected to be more dominant in 2012, especially in the African countries where 4G rollouts are already beginning. Much of the smartphone growth in the first world has been drive by Apple’s iPhone 4S.
Vodafone’s mobile internet revenue grew by 55.0% in Europe and 36.0% in Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific.
Data revenue now represents 14.8% of the Company’s service revenue, compared to 12.1% in the same period last year.
Data is now used on 59.6% of Vodafone’s European smartphone customers, with 21% now using integrated voice, SMS and data plans compared to 10.3% this time last year.