Cost-cutting Vodafone reports sliding revenues

Vodafone had last year axed 11,000 jobs, or more than 10 percent of its global workforce, to slash costs, and announced the sale of its Spanish division

FILE PHOTO: A pedestrian uses his phone while walking past a Vodafone store in Mumbai on February 18, 2020. (Photo by PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP via Getty Images)

Shajil Kumar

British mobile phone giant Vodafone, which is slashing thousands of jobs, revealed Monday (5) that revenues fell in its third quarter on poor performance across Italy and Spain.

Total revenues dropped 2.3 percent to 11.4 billion euros (£9.76 billion) in the three months to the end of December, compared with the same period a year earlier, Vodafone said in a trading update.

It added that revenues increased by 4.2 percent when stripping out the impact of currency effects, mergers and acquisitions, and hyperinflation in Turkey.

“We maintained… revenue momentum in the third quarter,” said chief executive Margherita Della Valle, adding the group had made “good strategic progress”.

In late 2023, Della Valle announced the sale of its Spanish division to investment fund Zegona for up to five billion euros.

It followed her decision last year to axe 11,000 jobs, or more than 10 percent of Vodafone’s global workforce, to slash costs.

Monday’s update comes also after Britain’s competition regulator last month announced a formal probe into Vodafone’s plan to merge its British mobile phone operations with those of Three UK, owned by Hong Kong-based CK Hutchison.

In early Monday deals, Vodafone’s share price declined 0.9 percent to 67.99 pence on London’s rising stock market.

“There have been some big strategic calls of late which should improve the group’s fortunes, leading to a more simple and leaner organisation,” noted Interactive Investor analyst Richard Hunter.

“The planned disposal of the Spanish business, a merger with Three UK and the reduction of 11,000 jobs over a three-year period will all contribute to the new look.”

The proposed Vodafone-Three tie-up, announced in June last year, is aimed at creating Britain’s biggest mobile operator with 27 million customers and to accelerate rollout of faster 5G connectivity. (AFP)