British telecom major Vodafone today reported a 3.4 per cent decline in its India revenue at 1,519 million pound for the first quarter ended June 2016. The figure stood at 1,573 million pound in the same period a year ago.
Revenue of Vodafone India, however, in local currency terms grew 3.92 per cent to Rs 11,477.5 crore (at exchange rate of Rs 75.56) in the reported quarter, from Rs 11,016 crore (at Rs 70.21) a year ago. “The slower pace of growth mainly reflects the reversal of the leap-year effect and lower intra-circle roaming revenues. Data browsing revenue growth of 22.3 per cent slowed from the pace of prior quarters, reflecting lower customer growth,” Vodafone said in a statement.
The company said its organic growth of its service revenue was around 6.4 per cent. Vodafone said it had over 199 million users in India at the end of the reported quarter. The active data customer base grew to 69.7 million, from 66.8 million a year ago. The average revenue per user of Vodafone India declined to Rs 176.36, from Rs 183.5 a year ago. According to the company, preparations are on for a potential IPO for its India unit. However, it preferred to stay cautious on expansion of 4G network rollout in India. “In India, we have launched 4G in five circles, covering 45 per cent of data revenues and expect to reach over 60 per cent in the current financial year (ahead of spectrum auction). Given the high cost of spectrum, we intend to take a disciplined approach to further 4G rollout,” Vodafone said.
The company claims to have installed 9,700 mobile sites for 4G services as of now. It said the company added 3,300 new 3G sites in the quarter, taking the total number to 59,000, covering 96 per cent of its targetted urban areas.
The 3G and 4G customer base rose 46 per cent to 32.3 million. “Voice revenues returned to growth as competition eased despite lower average minutes of use per customer,” Vodafone said. The voice call usage on its network increased to over 187 million minutes during the 2016 June quarter as against 180 million minutes in the previous fiscal.