Vodafone has reported a 3.3% increase in service revenues for the first quarter, as it benefited from the easing of lockdown restrictions, growing customer numbers, and a subsequent rise in roaming revenues.
The Newbury-based operator reported service income of €9.39 billion for the three-month period, as it increased the number of mobile connections on its European networks to 113 million.
Contract customers rose from 64.5 million to 65.6 million year-on-year, while broadband subscribers increased by 400,000 to 25.6 million. The number of converged customers across all markets is 7.9 million – up from 7.4 million.
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In the UK, service revenues rose by 2.5% to £1.3 billion, with the company adding 29,000 broadband customers and 65,000 contract mobile subscribers.
The loss in roaming income had affected all operators as business travellers and tourists were forced to stay at home. But with the resumption of international travel, roaming revenues jumped by 56% year-on-year. However, this revenue was still down by 54% compared to pre-pandemic levels.
Nonetheless, Vodafone is happy with the performance and says it is on track to deliver its full year target of between $15 billion and €15.4 billion.
“I am pleased to report that we are back to service revenue growth in Europe, as well as Africa. This growth was broad-based within both Consumer and Business segments, with the vast majority of our markets contributing. This is a result of our commercial and operating momentum built over the past 3 years as part of our strategic transformation.
“In Europe, the operating and retail environment has not yet returned to normal conditions, but we are delivering a good service revenue performance. In our Business segment, we are seeing stronger growth with our public sector and corporate customers, whilst further building a pipeline of demand for our digital services, such as IoT, security and cloud.
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Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.