Vodafone Group’s service revenue grew 3.7% in its first fiscal quarter, to about $10.1 billion, buoyed by strong growth in the business segment.
But newly appointed CEO Margherita Della Valle faces continued challenges in Germany, its largest operation. Quarterly service revenue in Germany declined 1.3% from a year ago.
Total revenue for the first quarter was about $11.89 billion. The company reiterated its full-year 2024 guidance, with EBITDA of $14.7 billion.
Of course, Della Valle is optimistic about the group’s prospects. “As we progress our plans to transform Vodafone, we have achieved a better service revenue performance across almost all of our markets,” she said in a statement. “We have delivered particularly strong trading in our Business segment and returned to service revenue growth in Europe. Looking ahead, we have taken the first steps of our action plan focused on customers, simplicity and growth, but we have much more still to do.”
Vodafone increased broadband prices in Germany starting in May.
Della Valle told the Financial Times that she was not worried by the loss of customers in Germany as they have the right to disconnect for a period of time following a price increase. “We shouldn’t be worried because it’s a very small number in the context of our [10mn customers] base,” she told the publication.
In the U.K., Vodafone’s service revenue increased by 5.7%. In the mobile division, the contract customer base declined by 66,000 in Q1 due to the disconnection of zero-value SIMs provided to businesses during the Covid pandemic. Excluding those losses, the mobile customer base was broadly stable despite annual contractual price increases.
In June, Vodafone announced it had entered into a binding agreement to combine its U.K. business with Three UK. If approved by regulators, it would create the country’s largest telecom operator, with more than 27 million subscribers.
Della Valle was CFO of Vodafone Group and was named interim group chief executive after former chief executive Nick Read stepped down in December. Della Valle was named the permanent CEO in April.
Today, Vodafone announced the appointment of Luka Mucic as CFO, effective September 1. Mucic previously was CFO at SAP from 2014 until March 2023 and before that, he was COO at SAP.
“Following a rigorous international and cross-sector search, I am delighted Luka is joining the board. He brings with him extensive experience in finance, international business – particularly in Germany – and technology,” said Vodafone Group Chair Jean-François van Boxmeer in a statement.