VODAFONE GROUP PLC
) reported its financial results for the year ending Mar 31,
2013. The company reported earnings per share of 15.65 pence (25
cents), missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.48. Earnings
per share improved 5.0% year over year from 14.91 pence (24
cents) in fiscal 2012 backed by higher adjusted operating profit
and a lower number of shares outstanding.
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Consolidated revenues of £44.445 billion ($70.26 billion) dropped
1.4% year over year on an organic basis and 4.2% on a reported
basis. Revenues also missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $71.5
Group service revenues (92% of total revenue) decreased 1.9% year
over year on an organic basis to £40.942 billion ($64.7 billion).
On a reported basis, group service revenues dropped 4.5% year
over year. The decline resulted primarily from lower revenues
from European operations, regulatory issues and competitive
pressures that restricted growth in the emerging markets.
On an organic basis, consolidated data revenues were £6.7 billion
($10.6 billion), up 13.8% year over year, boosted by strong
smartphone and mobile Internet sales. Messaging revenues fell
10.8% to £4.708 billion ($7.1 billion) from the prior year. Voice
revenues dropped 12.6% to £22.462 billion ($35.5 billion) while
fixed-line revenues rose 29.6% year over year to £4.688 billion
($7.4 billion). Other service revenues were £2.382 billion ($3.8
billion) in fiscal 2013, up 13.4% year over year.
Northern and Central Europe Service
: Revenues increased 2.7% year over year on a reported basis to
£7.857 billion ($12.4 billion) driven by growth in Enterprise
revenues. Service revenues increased 2.8% year over year on a
reported basis but dropped 0.2% on an organic basis to £18.768
billion ($29.7 billion).
: Revenues of £10.522 billion ($16.6 billion) were down 16.0% on
a reported basis and 10.8% on an organic basis from the prior
year. Service revenues decreased 16.7% year over year on a
reported basis and 11.6% on an organic basis to £9.635 billion
($15.2 billion). The decline was due to reductions in
interconnection charges, pricing pressures and macroeconomic
weakness that offset growth in data revenues. Declining revenues
from countries like Italy and Spain were also responsible for
Africa, Middle East & Asia Pacific (AMAP)
: Revenues from this segment dropped 2.9% on a reported basis but
climbed 4.3% organically year over year to £13.466 billion ($21.3
billion). Service revenue fell 3.2% year over year on a reported
basis but grew 3.9% on an organic basis to £12.345 billion ($19.5
billion) driven by strong data and subscriber growth in India,
Vodacom, Ghana and Qatar, and Egypt partially offset by weak
performances in Australia and New Zealand.
During the year under review, Vodafone's total subscriber base
reached 403.875 million (79.6% represented by prepaid). In
Northern and Central Europe, the company lost 1.6 million
subscribers, bringing the region's total customer base to 93.979
million at the end of Mar 2013. In Southern Europe the company
lost 829,000 customers, bringing the total to 50.9 million.
Africa, Middle East & Asia Pacific lost 1.6 million
customers, resulting in total subscription of 258.36 million.
Vodafone Group generated free cash flow of £5.6 billion ($8.8
billion), down 8.1% year over year. Capital expenditure was
£6.266 billion ($9.9 billion), down 1.6% from the prior year.
The company's board of directors approved a dividend per share of
6.92 pence, representing growth of 7.0% year over year. The
dividend will be paid on Aug 7, to shareholders of record on Jun
For fiscal 2014, management expects adjusted operating profit of
£12.0 billion to £12.8 billion. Free cash flows are expected
around £7.0 billion, including £2.1 billion dividend received
from Verizon Wireless of
Going forward, management expects EBITDA margin of the company
excluding M&A and restructuring costs to register marginal
decline on a year-over-year basis due to the ongoing weak
macroeconomic environment in Europe.
Despite the strong growth prospects of Vodafone, we are concerned
about a decline in service revenues and subscriber counts,
particularly in European continent. Continued economic weakness,
regulatory pressure, stiff competition, reductions in mobile
termination rates (MTRs) and roaming prices remained detrimental
to the company's growth. However, Vodafone's strong growth in
emerging markets can partially offset challenging market
conditions and provide a high profit margin given lower
infrastructural costs. Further, the company is increasingly
making efforts to shift toward more data centric services as the
level of data services in these markets remain considerably low,
providing opportunities for deeper penetration.
Vodafone, which competes with other European telecom companies
Telecom Italia S.p.A
), currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).