Vodafone: Losing football in Spain takes toll
November 13, 2018
From David Del Valle in Madrid
The pay-TV football war is taken its toll on the performance of Vodafone Spain. In the first six months of FY 2018 (from April 1 to September 30), Vodafone Spain lost 98,000 subscribers and saw its revenues fall by 3.2 per cent to €2.42 billion. Revenues per service fell by 4.7 per cent to €2.20 billion with EBITDA dropping by 7.5 per cent.
In the second quarter, Vodafone lost 66,000 TV customers and 7.2 per cent in revenues to €1.09 billion. FTTH customers grew by 32,000 in the six months period to 2.8 million, up 9.2 per cent versus last year.
The company admitted that its Spanish unit was hit by discounted TV and football from rival Telefónica/Movistar.
Globally, Vodafone had 13.7 million television customers at the end of the quarter, and 6.2 million converged customers. The company added 384,000 broadband customers and 616,000 converged customers – partly due to the first-time recognition of prepaid mobile customers in Germany. Vodafone added 744,000 customers to its next-generation network in the quarter.
Vodafone Germany had 7.63 million TV customers at the end of the period, down from 7.697 million a year earlier, and down 43,000 over the course of the first half.
In Germany, Vodafone added 115,000 broadband customers in the first half, boosted by its GigaKombi offer.
In total Vodafone posted revenues of €21.8 billion for the first half down 5.5%, and an operating loss of €2.1 billion, compared with a profit of €2 billion in the same period last year.
New CEO Nick Read said the group had “taken decisive commercial and operational actions to respond to challenging competitive conditions in Italy and Spain” and was on track to reduce net operating expenses.