Vodafone loses 46k customers

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Vodafone loses 46k customers
CEO Inaki Berroeta

Second half growth fails to stem exodus.

Vodafone continued to lose customers in 2014, dropping 46,000 subscribers for the full year despite user growth in the second half.

Hutchison Telecommunications Australia today posted its results for its 2014 fiscal year, revealing a $301.8 million loss in its 50 percent share of the telco.

It attributed the loss to a 9 percent fall in Vodafone customer service revenue, which stemmed from subscriber losses in recent years as well as accelerated depreciation in network assets.

Vodafone was also unable to turn around a loss of 137,000 customers in the first half of 2014 despite adding around 91,000 new users towards the end of the year - its first growth since 2010.

Strong sales of the new iPhone as well as its Red plans propelled the growth in the back half.

The telco's customer base now sits at just above 5.3 million. In comparison, Australia's largest telco Telstra counts over 16 million subscribers on its books.

Vodafone has been working hard and investing heavily recently to reverse a negative reputation following large-scale network and customer service issues in 2010, and this month declared its three-year turnaround project complete.

It has spent big in order to improve its network, open new retail stores, and trial new network features such as voice-over-LTE (VoLTE).

CEO Inaki Berroeta recently claimed such efforts had boosted the telco's net promoter score by 16 points.

But HTA today said negative perceptions of Vodafone from the 2010 issues still lingered with non-Vodafone customers.

However, it expects the growth experienced in the second half to continue into 2015 as the benefits from Vodafone's turnaround efforts are felt, which it forecast will improve the bottom line in coming years.

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