Vodafone stems losses as subscriber growth rebounds

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Vodafone stems losses as subscriber growth rebounds

Reports 4.5 percent jump in revenue.

Vodafone Australia is showing signs of turning its performance around, as its full-year loss for 2015 dropped 34.4 percent to $430 million, off the back of strong subscriber and revenue growth.

In its prior 12 month results, the telco's losses sat at $656 million.

The carrier attributed the loss to depreciation on investments made over the past four or five years, along with the mobile operator’s capital structure.

Yesterday it announced its total full-year revenues were up 4.5 percent year-on-year to $3.7 billion, while EBITDA grew 5.4 percent to $813 million.

Overall expenses for the joint venture were down slightly to $4.1 billion.

Its total network customers, a metric which includes end users from mobile virtual network operators, grew by 2.5 percent to 5.437 million, including the first wave of TPG users migrating to the network.

Excluding MVNO users, the number of post-paid customers grew by 3.5 percent to 3.249 million, accounting for around 80 percent of the company’s total revenue.

There was also a slight year-on-year increase in the number of pre-paid customers, to 1.73 million.

Along with the subscriber growth, Vodafone’s revenue was buoyed by a 3.1 percent increase in average revenue per user to $52.38.

The results represent a significant improvement compared to the first half of 2015, when Vodafone lost around 45,000 customers.

While declining to put a precise figure on capital expenditure, chief financial officer James Marsh told analysts it was lower than last year, but remains high by industry standards.

“VHA has invested heavily in its network, customer service and products in recent years, and our strategy is proving successful.” Marsh said.

Vodafone chief executive Iñaki Berroeta said he was pleased with the overall result, highlighting a fall in customer complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman to 3.5 per 10,000 services as a major achievement.

“Our outlook for 2016 is for continued growth, solid network investment, and a significant investment in migrating our customers to voice over LTE services,” he said.

Berroeta also told analysts he expects the 4G services to be available across Vodafone’s entire network footprint next month.

The results come after Optus recently reported an increase in net profits despite a decrease in its mobile subscriber base during the third quarter of fiscal 2016, while Telstra blamed its sluggish business performance on acquisitions and the NBN.

During a speech delivered in August of last year, Berroeta said he expects the carrier to be profitable “in the near future”.

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