Vodafone losses down, customers up

Telco records $163.7 million loss for the half

Vodafone Hutchison Australia recorded a loss of $163 million for the six months ending 30 June — improving on the $260 million loss the company reported for the same period in 2015.

“I’m pleased to say that VHA’s solid growth continued across all of its key metrics,” the company’s chief financial officer, James Marsh, said during a briefing on its results for the first half of calendar 2016.

Total customers on VHA’s network grew 4.5 per cent year on year to 5.5 per cent. The increase was on the back of a 28.6 per cent jump in mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) customers — largely due to the migration of TPG customers to the network under a deal announced in September.

There was also a one-off adjustment to the VHA MVNO customer base, with around 45,000 customers reclassified as M2M customers

VHA’s own customers increased by 2.6 per cent on the back of a 4.2 per cent year on year increase in post-paid customers.

“Post-paid performance continues to be strong on the back of our plans with and without a device,” Marsh said.

Overall revenue declined; however, the company attributed it to drop the ACCC’s decision to cut mobile terminating rates. The company reported revenue of $1.6 billion for the half.

Excluding the MTR change would have seen a 4.3 per cent increase in revenue and a 7.3 per cent increase in gross service revenue, Marsh said.

Gross average revenue per user decreased 4.3 per cent year on year, but was up 4.5 per cent if the impact of the ACCC decision was excluded.

The underlying ARPU growth was attributed to increased demand for data among customers. “We’ve seen data growth on the network of 62 per cent year on year,” Marsh said

Roaming revenue was also up by 62 per cent half on half.

EBITDA increased by 7.7 per cent to $412 million, driven by both the underlying revenue increase and “strong commercial discipline,” the CFO said.

Marsh said that VHA has seen a boost in customer sentiment, citing a drop in Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman complaint figures and a growth in the telco’s Net Promotor Score of 18 points.

Vodafone announced earlier this week that its chief technology officer would depart the company for a role at Hutchison.

Updated to correct figures relating to VHA's loss

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