Vodafone Group Plc - Trading update for the quarter ended 30 June 2019

Trading update for the quarter ended 30 June 2019

 

26 July 2019

 

Highlights

 

· 

Group revenue of €10.7 billion, down by €0.2 billion due to foreign exchange rate effects.

· 

Q1 organic service revenue declined 0.2%*, improving compared to Q4 (-0.7%**); gradual recovery expected to continue.

· 

Sequential progress in Europe, with service revenues -1.7%* (Q4: -2.1%**), as market conditions continued to improve in Italy and retail growth in Germany remained robust, offsetting the impact of competitor promotions in Spain.

· 

Rest of the World grew 5.3%* (Q4: 5.7%*) as the impact of regulation introduced in March in South Africa was offset by strong growth ahead of inflation in other markets.

· 

Good progress on strategic priorities during the quarter:

 

-

Deepening customer engagement: Group mobile contract churn down 0.6 percentage points year-on-year to another record low; 115,000 converged customer net adds in Europe; 5G services launched in all major EU markets.

 

-

Radical simplification & digital transformation: Simplified pricing plans with speed-tiered unlimited data launched in 5 markets; on track to meet the Group's €400 million FY20 net operating expenses reduction target in Europe.

 

-

Improving asset utilisation: Network sharing agreements signed in Spain/UK, Italy imminent; intention to monetise a substantial part of our European tower infrastructure over the next 18 months, depending on market conditions.

 

-

Portfolio optimisation: Acquisition of Liberty Global's cable assets in Germany and CEE approved by the EC; deal expected to complete by 31 July 2019. NZ$3.4 billion (€2.1 billion) New Zealand disposal also to complete on 31 July.

· 

Confident on full year guidance1: adjusted EBITDA of €13.8-14.2 billion, free cash flow (pre-spectrum) at least €5.4 billion.

       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quarter ended 30 June

 

 

 

 

2019

2018

Statutory growth

 

 

 

 

€m 

€m

%

Group revenue2

 

 

10,653

10,902

(2.3)

   Europe

 

 

7,792

7,957

(2.1)

   Rest of the World

 

 

2,547

2,652

(4.0)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Organic growth*

 

 

 

 

2019

2018

Alternative performance measures3

 

€m

€m

%

Group service revenue

 

 

8,994

9,130

(0.2)

   Europe

 

 

6,782

6,896

(1.7)

   Rest of the World

 

 

2,114

2,132

+5.3

 

Nick Read, Group Chief Executive, commented:

"Our service revenue growth improved during the first quarter, led by Italy, and mobile churn fell to another record low. Following a significant quarter of commercial activity, we expect the gradual recovery in our service revenues to continue, underpinning our financial outlook for the year.

With the completion of the Liberty Global acquisitions, Vodafone will become Europe's leading converged operator, with growing fixed and converged services contributing around half of our European service revenues. We have developed a detailed plan to deliver the customer benefits and capture the substantial synergies from the deal, which we will start to execute immediately.

We also have made good progress on improving the utilisation of our assets. We will capture industrial efficiencies through network sharing agreements signed in multiple markets, and today we are announcing the decision to create Europe's largest tower company. We believe there is a substantial opportunity to unlock the embedded value of our towers, and we have started preparations for a range of monetisation options over the next 18 months, including a potential IPO."