Vodafone still struggling as half-year losses grow

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Vodafone still struggling as half-year losses grow

Coupled with falling customer numbers.

Vodafone Australia lost around $184 million and 45,000 customers in its first half of this year despite declaring its turnaround complete five months ago.

The figures represent an increase on the approximately $159 million Vodafone lost in the same period of 2014. For the full 2014 year, the telco lost around $604 million

The telco's half-owner Hutchison Telecommunications Australia today reported its financial results for the six months to June 30, revealing a $91.8 million loss in its 50 percent share of VHA - representing half of the telco's total loss for the period.

HTA attributed the result to higher costs of handsets sold, higher variable content costs and higher finance costs due to a stronger US dollar.

Australia's third largest telco pulled in around $1.8 billion in total revenue for the half - an increase of 3 percent on the same time last year - and stable net service revenue of $1.4 billion. Its gross revenue per user rose from $50.79 to $51.32 due to take-up of its high-end Red plans.

Vodafone's customer base fell from 5.3 million to 5.25 million as the result of a drop of 39,000 prepaid customers and 52,000 MVNO customers.


The drop in MVNO customers came from one partner migrating away from Vodafone and another shutting down, VHA said.

The decrease was slightly offset by a gain of 35,000 postpaid customers, thanks to growth in adoption of its Red and SIM-only plans. 

HTA said Vodafone was continuing to focus its efforts on providing excellent customer service, as well as improving internal processes, agent training, issues resolution and increasing its use of online live chat.

Such efforts, HTA said, had resulted in a significant decline in complaints from Vodafone's customers to the Telecommunications Industry Omdudsman.

The TIO recorded 7.2 complaints per 10,000 Vodafone customers in the quarter to June compared to 14.3 complaints per 10,000 customers in the same period of 2014.

The telco is similarly working to improve its network coverage through an upgrade effort which recently saw it sign a deal with Ericsson to deliver a new core network. Testing for Voice-over-LTE is also currently underway.

HTA is "pleased to see the benefits from the strategic initiatives flow into improved financial results", specifically the growth in revenue and customer numbers.

Vodafone will spend the second half of 2015 continuing to improve its network and customer service while also launching a new brand campaign, retail expansion program and shifting further into new content offerings.

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