Vodafone has reported a better-than-expected rise in Q1 service revenue as more stores reopened and tourism made a small return. CEO Nick Read said the company was back to service revenue growth in Europe as well as Africa as it reported a 3.3 per cent rise in service revenue.
The company said it maintained momentum in its biggest market Germany, with growth accelerating to 1.4 per cent against 1.2 per cent in Q4, while both Britain and Spain returned to quarter-on-quarter growth as Covid-19 restrictions eased.
Vodafone reported strong growth in Africa, where its financial platform M-Pesa saw transaction volumes increase 45 per cent year-on-year.
But Vodafone saw its TV base in Germany continue to drop sharply and in Spain market share was cut. Vodafone Deutschland lost 75,000 TV customers in the quarter, part of an ongoing trend for the last three quarters.
The company said it was optimistic about service improvements including the launch of DAZN’s pay-TV channel and the debut of Vodafone’s new Apple TV set-top box product.
Vodafone Deutschland increased its converged customer base, with 29,000 additions taking the latter to 1.7 million. Mobile service revenue also increased. Despite the TV losses, Vodafone was able to report a net increase in cable customers of 33,000.
In Spain market revenue grew marginally, fuelled by mobile. Vodafone plans to up the prices of its main Vodafone brand products on July 15th, which could lead to further pressure on its base.
Overall, Vodafone’s European TV customer base increased y-on-y, up from 22.2 to 23.3 million. It also saw modest growth in its broadband and contract mobile bases.