Vodafone share price: Australian arm loses customers but maintains positive outlook

on Jul 22, 2015
Updated: Oct 21, 2019
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Vodafone Group Plc’s (LON:VOD) Australian unit has seen a decline in mobile subscribers in the first half of the year amid intensifying competition from rivals Telstra and Singtel-Optus. Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA), a joint venture between Vodafone and Hong Kong-owned Hutchison Telecommunications Australia, revealed yesterday that it had lost 47,000 mobile customers in the first six months of the year. The mobile carrier also reported a net loss of $180 million in the period. Still, VHA chief financial officer James Marsh said that the company is pleased with the results and expects to see subscriber growth in the coming months.

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VHA’s loss was a significant improvement over the company’s 2014 full-year results, which at the time revealed that the company had lost $603.6 million. Meanwhile, the decline in mobile subscribers was mainly due to the carrier’s MVNO business, which took a hit during the first half. Excluding its MVNO figures, the results were strong, with Vodafone-branded post-paid customers increasing by 3.3 percent to 3.18 million. Overall, VHA currently has a total customer base of 5.26 million, comprising of 4.86 million VHA customers and 395,000 MVNO. It is the third-largest mobile carrier in Australia, behind Telstra, which has over 16 million customers, and Optus with 9.4 million.

“In terms of post-paid we actually feel we are seeing that steady trend of performance. There is a level of growth and we all know the second half of the calendar year is a very busy period … so we do see an acceleration in performance,” Marsh commented. “Overall, we are very pleased with these results and the trends are in line with our plans and we remain very optimistic about the future of this business.”
In today’s trading, Vodafone shares were down 0.8 percent at 233.95p, as of 15:02 BST. The stock has risen 5.1 percent since the start of the year and the company’s market capitalisation currently stands at £62.1 billion.
The 23 analysts offering 12 month price targets for Vodafone have a median target of 250.00p, with a high estimate of 300.00p and a low estimate of 130.00p.
As of 16:05 BST, Wednesday, 22 July, Vodafone Group plc share price is 233.15p.

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