Vodafone returns to growth
London, July 24, 2010
Vodafone, the world's largest mobile operator by sales, has returned to growth for the first time since the economic downturn and indicated it could reconsider its strategy to drive further value later this year.
Vodafone said there was still room for further economic improvements in many of its markets but said the changes it had made so far - to focus on the sales of data plans for Internet access and emerging markets - had worked well.
Later this year it will set out how it intends to accelerate its strategy to drive further shareholder value, according to a report in our sister publication, the Gulf Daily News.
The Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, which holds a 0.4 per cent stake in the firm, called earlier this week for a shake-up of the telecom operator's board in protest against what it deemed to be "significant structural and strategic weaknesses".
Vodafone has faced calls in the past to resolve situations where it owns minority stakes in assets, such as in the US where it owns a 45 per cent in Verizon Wireless, and in France where it owns a 44 per cent stake in SFR. Its 3 per cent holding in China Mobile could be another option for disposal.
Vodafone said its key service revenue was GBP10.6 billion ($16.1 billion), up 1.1 per cent organically, compared with an adjusted 0.6 per cent drop in the fourth quarter.
The performance shows a continuing improvement in the company's recent trading, as it declined by 1.2 per cent in the third quarter and by 3 per cent in the second quarter.
The European service revenue was down by 1.7 per cent but this was better than the previous quarter.
Total group revenues for the period were GBP11.3 billion. Analysts had been expecting service revenue of GBP10.5 billion and total revenue of GBP11.2 billion. – TradeArabia News Service