Vodafone confident of recovery after revenues drop

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Mobile phone operator Vodafone today reported a fall in quarterly revenues but said it was confident that sales will start to improve as more customers take up superfast 4G services.

The group, which is investing £6 billion in its networks after selling its stake in a US joint venture for $130bn (£79.7bn), said revenues fell 4.8 per cent in the three months to the end of December, as a strong performance in emerging markets was offset by continued weakness in Europe.

Revenues across Europe were down 9.6 per cent compared with a year earlier, with sales down 5.1 per cent in the UK. Revenues in Italy slumped 16.6 per cent amid tough competition and restrained consumer spending.

In comparison, revenues in India jumped 13.2 per cent and customer numbers rose 8.8 per cent to 160.4 million.

Vodafone chief executive Vittorio Colao said: “In Europe, conditions are still difficult, and we continue to mitigate these challenges through ongoing improvements to our operating model and cost efficiency.

“In addition, the shift to 4G is gaining momentum and we have seen improving mobile customer net addition trends. We are therefore optimistic that our revenue performance will begin to improve as regulatory headwinds ease and customer appetite for video and content services increases.”