Vodafone reveals almost $2 billion mobile technology spend for 2017

Reports continued solid growth for H1

Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) today confirmed an almost $2 billion spend in 2017 on its mobile network and technology to increase coverage, capacity, performance and competition for Australian mobile customers.

Reporting on VHA’s half year results for the six months to 30 June 2017, Chief Financial Officer James Marsh said VHA’s strong network is a key driver of the company’s continued solid performance.

“We have a world-class network and are continuing to invest heavily to make it even better for our customers, including in regional areas where we are building or upgrading around 450 sites this year,” Mr Marsh said.

“Already, the VHA network reaches more than 22 million Australians, and is recognised as the top-performing network in cities with populations above 100,000. And we’re only going to build on that into the future.

“In 2017, we are putting close to $2 billion into mobile technology, including almost 1,800 new and upgraded sites, spectrum licence payments, and our continued fibre transmission rollout.

“Our customers know how good our network is, and this positive customer sentiment is reflected through our Net Promoter Score. We are committed to giving customers an even better experience in more places, and offering them even more great value.”

Mr Marsh said VHA had produced pleasing results, despite regulatory barriers to effective competition in many areas of the Australian market.

“Driving our performance is our fantastic network, complemented by great value products. New and existing customers are drawn to our generous data inclusions and unrivalled $5 Roaming and free New Zealand roaming,” Mr Marsh said.

Key VHA H1 performance highlights:

  • Total customer base grew by approximately 190,000 customers to 5.7 million, 3.5% increase YoY
  • EBITDA increased 15.9% YoY to $477.3 million
  • Total revenue increased 3.0% YoY to $1,651 million
  • ARPU for the six months to 30 June 2017 grew 2.0% to $45.89 on a gross basis
  • Roaming revenue increased 19.7% YoY
  • Loss decreased 50.3% YoY to $81.5 million
  • Net Promoter Score increased 9 points between June 2016 and June 2017

Mr Marsh said VHA has big plans for the second half of 2017, including a major postpaid refresh and its planned fixed broadband launch.

“Our new postpaid products, to be revealed later this month, are going to change the rules. Just as we have done for international roaming and prepaid, we are going to shake up the market,” Mr Marsh said.

“Preparations for our fixed broadband launch are also ramping up, and we know that many Australians are currently unhappy with their current internet service provider. Again, we plan to change the game by offering a service that is simple to understand and gives customers what they are paying for.

“With our continued significant investment in our strong network and products that offer true value and transparency to customers, VHA will continue to be a strong challenger in the Australian market.”

<ends>

Background

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 six month period to 30 June, 2017.

VHA 2017 total technology spend comprises tangible and intangible fixed asset additions (sites, transmission, spectrum, Radio Access Network, software, hardware) and technology operating expenses.