MOBILE phone giant Vodafone has blamed tough competition in the UK and southern Europe’s economic woes for a drop in first-quarter revenues.
In Germany, the group’s biggest market, revenues were down 5.1 per cent in the three months to 30 June, but chief executive Vittorio Colao said a deal to buy Kabel Deutschland, the country’s largest cable operator, would give it an “excellent platform” to grow its range of services. The £6.6 billion acquisition is expected to be completed before the end of this year.
Revenues in the UK were 4.5 per cent lower than a year ago, but its businesses in Italy and Spain suffered even steeper declines of 17.6 per cent and 10.6 per cent respectively.
Colao said: “Although regulation, competitive pressures and weak economies, particularly in southern Europe, continue to restrict revenue growth, we continue to lay strong foundations for the longer term.”
Group service revenues, including joint ventures, dipped to £10.2bn in the first quarter, 3.5 per cent lower than a year ago, but Colao said this was in line with management expectations.