Vodafone reports FY group operating profit up 15.4% to EUR4.3B
For the year ended March 31, Vodafone reported group operating profit up 15.4% to EURO$4.3 billion; profit for the year of EURO$2.8 billion; total revenue down 2.2% to EURO$46.6 billion, primarily due to the deconsolidation of Vodafone Netherlands and FX movements. Vittorio Colao, Group CEO, commented: "This was a year of significant operational and strategic achievement and strong financial performance. Our sustained investment in network quality supported robust commercial momentum: we added a record number of fixed NGN and converged customers in Q4, mobile data usage continues to grow strongly and we grew both revenues and margins in Enterprise, despite roaming headwinds, and continued to reduce operating costs. As a result, underlying EBITDA grew 7.9%. We have made good progress in securing approvals for the merger with Idea Cellular in India - which is expected to close imminently - and appointed the new management team, who will focus immediately on capturing the sizeable cost synergies. In addition, we agreed the merger of Indus Towers and Bharti Infratel, allowing Vodafone to own a significant cocontrolling stake in India's largest listed tower company. And we announced last week the acquisition of Liberty Global's cable assets in Germany and Central and Eastern Europe, transforming the Group into Europe's leading next generation network owner and a truly converged challenger to dominant incumbents. We expect to sustain our profit growth in the year ahead, despite the arrival of a new entrant in Italy and competitive pressure in Spain, supported by the third year in a row of lower net operating costs. Our primary focus continues to be to accelerate the 'Digital Vodafone' programme, which we believe is a unique opportunity to enhance our customers' experience, generate incremental value and improve cost efficiency."