VHA announces more than $1.3 billion network and technology spend in 2018

Achieves solid, well-rounded performance in 2017

Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) has announced a more than $1.3 billion mobile network and technology spend in 2018, with a focus on its continued evolution to 5G, after recording a solid, well-rounded performance for the full year ended 31 December 2017.

VHA’s significant technology spend in 2018 will include the continued expansion and evolution of its mobile network, final stages of its fibre transmission rollout, and spectrum licence payments.

Throughout 2017, VHA achieved continued growth in its customer base, revenue, EBITDA and net ARPU, while launching Vodafone nbn™ to complement its mobile network.

Key 2017 performance highlights:

  • Total customer base grew by 246,000 customers to 5.81 million, a 4.4% increase YoY;
  • Total revenue increased 3.4% YoY to $3,458 million;
  • EBITDA increased 6.5% YoY to $971.8 million;
  • Net ARPU increased 0.2% YoY to $38.03 ;
  • Loss position improved with a 26.4% decrease YoY to $177.8 million;
  • Leading Net Promoter Score among Mobile Network Operators in December.

VHA Chief Financial Officer James Marsh said the 2017 results were pleasing, and built on the company’s long-term, sustainable growth strategy.

“In a highly competitive market, VHA has recorded an increase in customer base, revenue, EBITDA and net ARPU, while continuing to invest in networks and marketing,” Mr Marsh said.

“The continued EBITDA growth is particularly pleasing as it demonstrates the sustainability of our business model.

“In 2017, we added 246,000 customers to our base, with growth in the postpaid, prepaid, and MVNO and partner segments.

“Postpaid customer growth was driven by our Red plans which offer the flexibility of no lock-in handset plans, $5 Roaming and increased data inclusions to support growing data demand. In 2017, data usage on the VHA network increased around 40 per cent.

“VHA’s 35-day prepaid expiries have driven growth in the ultra-competitive prepaid segment, and our partner Kogan is performing strongly.

“VHA made significant investment in launching Vodafone nbn™, and enhancing and expanding our mobile network, including building 347 new sites and upgrading more than 1,600 existing sites.

“We also continued our focus on the Enterprise segment, signing a number of major customers across a variety of industries including food and beverage, global logistics, and finance.

“With the continued strong backing of our shareholders, we are achieving the right balance between a great customer experience and increased profitability.”

Vodafone Chief Executive Officer Iñaki Berroeta said he was proud of the company’s 2017 achievements, and excited for 2018.

“2017 was a good year and we delivered a lot for our customers, including the successful launch of Vodafone nbn™, no lock-in handset plans, 35-day prepaid expiries, and the continued expansion and enhancement of our mobile network,” Mr Berroeta said.

“It was really pleasing to see our services and products resonate in the market, with VHA ending 2017 with the leading Net Promoter Score and continually recording the lowest rate of complaints among the major telcos.

“We have begun our fixed broadband journey, and are looking forward to bringing Vodafone nbn™, which includes instant connect and back-up via our 4G network, to more Australians in 2018.

“For our mobile network, 2018 will be an exciting year as we continue to evolve to 5G with the final stages of our fibre transmission rollout, by building new capability in our network, and carrying out more technology trials.

“In the product space, there will be some exciting announcements which will again challenge the way mobile plans are offered, and deliver even more for our customers to meet their connected needs.”

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Notes to editors

Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) is 50:50 joint venture between Vodafone Group Plc and Hutchison Telecommunications (Australia) Limited. Figures relate to VHA performance for the full year ended 31 December, 2017.

VHA 2018 total network and technology spend comprises tangible and intangible fixed asset additions (sites, transmission, spectrum, Radio Access Network, software, hardware) and technology operating expenses.