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Vodafone bests rivals in India with 14% growth in revenue

Vodafone bests rivals in India with 14% growth in revenue
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First Published: Thu, Feb 04 2010. 10 29 PM IST

Going strong: A cellphone store in Faridabad, Haryana. Of Vodafone’s 313.78 million subscribers worldwide, India accounted for 91.4 million. Rajkumar / Mint
Going strong: A cellphone store in Faridabad, Haryana. Of Vodafone’s 313.78 million subscribers worldwide, India accounted for 91.4 million. Rajkumar / Mint
Updated: Thu, Feb 04 2010. 10 29 PM IST
New Delhi: Beating larger rivals Bharti Airtel Ltd and Reliance Communications Ltd, Vodafone Group Plc’s India revenue grew nearly 14% to £767 million (Rs5,622.7 crore) for the quarter ended December.
In the same period a year earlier, Vodafone’s India revenue was £674 million.
Vodafone said in its third quarter earnings report released in London on Thursday that the India numbers “present performance on a comparable basis, both in terms of merger and acquisition activity and foreign exchange rates”.
Going strong: A cellphone store in Faridabad, Haryana. Of Vodafone’s 313.78 million subscribers worldwide, India accounted for 91.4 million. Rajkumar / Mint
The world’s second largest telecom firm ended 2009 with 313.78 million telecom subscribers, of which 91.4 million were from India.
“India’s service revenue increased by 13.8%, half (6.9%) of which was delivered by the network sharing joint venture Indus Towers,” the firm stated in its report.
The remaining growth was “driven by a 51.0% increase in average mobile customers and a 35.1% increase in voice usage. This was offset in part by declining average voice rates”, it added.
India registered the second highest amount of churn (38%) compared with Vodafone’s other markets.
An analyst in Mumbai said on condition of anonymity that the intense tariff war among India’s telecom operators has taken its toll on Vodafone.
“On a quarterly basis (over the second quarter), their revenues have risen by 9% and their Ebitda margin is at around 24%, while their Arpu has fallen 6%,” he said. “Traffic growth has been healthy but their margins are the lowest in the pack (among India’s telecom firms).”
Arpu is short for average revenue per user, a key measure for telecom firms. Ebitda is earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.
Third quarter revenue for Bharti rose 1.4% to Rs9,772.2 crore, but dropped 9.2% to Rs5,309.7 crore for Reliance Communications.
Bharti and Reliance Communications are India’s top two phone firms by subscribers, respectively.
Vodafone’s quarter sales for the entire group rose 10.3% to £11.5 billion.
Its service revenue in the Asia-Pacific region and West Asia, excluding currency swings and acquisitions, grew 10.4%, driven by a 45.7% rise in its average mobile customer base and strong data revenue. India contributed around 75% of the region’s organic service revenue growth.
This growth in emerging markets made up for the decline in Europe, where the company generates more than 60% of its sales.
Bloomberg contributed to this story.
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First Published: Thu, Feb 04 2010. 10 29 PM IST
More Topics: Vodafone | Telecom | Growth | Revenue | Bharti Airtel |