Vodafone financial results mark final year of turnaround

Customer numbers grow in second half of year

Vodafone has seen the first lift in its customer numbers since 2010 in the second half of 2014, closing the year with 5.3 million customers.

“These results are in line with our expectations for 2014,” said Vodafone Chief Financial Officer, James Marsh. “Our performance is steady, and we’re now in a position where we expect the business to grow.”

“Vodafone has invested heavily in its network and customer service in recent years, and the strategy has paid off with successive months of growth.”

HTAL reported a $285.5 million loss compared with a $230.0 million loss the previous year. This includes accelerated depreciation on network assets, which have seen heavy investment in recent years as part of the business’s strategic plan to build an expanded and resilient network.

While Vodafone’s total revenue in 2014 was relatively flat, customer service revenue decreased by 8.8%, reflecting customer losses in 2013 and the reductions in the inter carrier Mobile Terminating Access Service price as determined by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

“The decline in customer revenue for 2014 reflects customer losses in 2013, but we’re confident we’ve now reversed that and we expect to see customer numbers continue to grow in 2015.”

Mr Marsh said Vodafone had made steady improvements over the past year following a strong focus on its customer service and network excellence. Significant milestones reached include the expansion of its 4G network to reach 95% of the Australian metropolitan population, the signing of a new three-year contract to build a new core network, a strong rise in its customer Net Promoter Score (NPS) and a significant reduction in complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (38%).

“Our customers’ appetite for data continues to double year on year and we have a reputation for offering the most generous data inclusions of any mobile provider,” said Mr Marsh. “Last year we introduced plans to stop bill shock, which include automated $10 data top-ups each 1GB data. This allows our customers to use their data with confidence, not fear, and as a result, data usage is growing, along with our customer satisfaction,” said Mr Marsh.

Vodafone CEO Inaki Berroeta announced last week that 2015 marks the next phase for Vodafone with a new three-year strategic plan endorsed by both of its shareholders. This includes continued investment in infrastructure, customer service and innovative products, expansion of its premium content partnerships (which already include Spotify and Fairfax Media), and a significant retail expansion.

“2015 is about growth for Vodafone,” said Mr Marsh, “and we are beginning the year with great momentum.”

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Notes to editors

  • Vodafone Hutchison Australia is a 50:50 joint venture between Hutchison Telecommunications (Australia) Ltd (HTAL) and Vodafone Group Plc.
  • HTAL today announced results for the year ended 31 December 2014.