Challenging economic conditions in Europe have hit telecoms giant Vodafone’s annual revenues for the year ended 31 March, dropping 4.4pc to stg£44.4bn, after the company cut prices in Europe to try and retain customers.
Vodafone wrote down the value of its businesses in Italy and Spain by a further stg£1.8bn, taking the total writedown for the year to stg£7.7bn. Service revenue in Italy sank 12.8pc and in Spain service revenue decreased by 11.5pc.
The writedowns translated into a drop in earnings after taxation to stg£673m, compared with stg£7bn in 2011-2012.
Vittorio Colao, group chief executive of Vodafone, said the company has faced headwinds from a combination of continued tough economic conditions, particularly in Southern Europe, and an adverse European regulatory environment.
However, Colao remains excited about the company’s future.
“I remain very excited about our longer-term prospects, as customer appetite for high-speed data grows rapidly, and companies look to embed mobility into their corporate strategies.”
Vodafone Ireland customer numbers
The number of mobile of customers with Vodafone Ireland totalled 2.2m in the quarter ended 31 March, and its total customer base amounted to 2.41m.
Vodafone added 227,000 smartphone subscribers in the last 12 months, a 29.2pc year-on-year increase, resulting in 1.01m of its customers now using a smartphone.
The company also saw 5.8pc year-on-year growth in contract subscribers, adding 43,000 contract customers over the last 12 months.
Vodafone’s fixed-line voice and broadband subscribers increased by 3.8pc year-on-year to reach 248,700 at the end of the March 2013.