Vodafone continues to lose millions

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Vodafone continues to lose millions

But the bleed is slowing.

Vodafone is continuing its slow crawl back to profitability, revealing losses for the six months to June 2016 were down 37 percent compared to the same period one year ago.

Its latest round of half-year results, unveiled today, show the telco lost $163.9 million in the six-month period compared to $259.2 million in the six months to June 2015.

In the full 2015 year it lost $430 million, compared to $656 million in the 12 months prior to that.

Last August Vodafone Australia boss Iñaki Berroeta pledged to get the carrier back into the black “in the near future”, but stopped short of committing to a timeframe. The telco has in recent years spent big on improving its network in an effort to get past the damaging Vodafail issues from six years ago.

Vodafone CFO James Marsh today said the telco's capital spend as a percentage of its turnover remained in the “high teens”, largely driven by its network remediation and the build of more than 100 new mobile base stations throughout regional Australia, 70 of which form part of the government’s black spot program.

The telco did, however, take a revenue hit from the ACCC’s cuts to mobile termination rates - fees telcos charge each other to receive calls and SMS. Marsh said the cuts took about $230 million out of Vodafone’s mobile termination revenue for the period, and helped push its revenue down 9.7 percent.

Without the MTR reduction, the telco said its revenue would have increased by 4.5 percent.

However, its other vital stats will keep the company optimistic about Vodafone’s future prospects in the Australian telco market.

It added 239,000 new customers to its books over the six months, bringing it to a total of 5.5 million users, and its EBITDA grew 7.7 percent, or $412 million, year-on-year.

He said the half-year results point to a “solid performance” that “indicates we are on the right track”.

TPG’s 2015 decision to shift its MVNO customers to the Vodafone network away from Optus, also paid dividends for the carrier, which saw a 28.6 percent year-on-year jump in its MVNO base as a result.

While customer numbers grew, Vodafone's overall average revenue per use (ARPU) fell from $51.32 per month to $49.11.

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