Vodafone Egypt sees H1 revenues stall but users climb

Ahram Online and agencies, Wednesday 9 Nov 2011

Mobile giant's financial results show a difficult mid-2011 for Egypt operations, but subscriptions and usage are making solid recoveries

Revenues take a hit after Egyptian uprising but are staging a revival (Photo: Reuters)

Vodafone's Egyptian operations had a "challenging" first half to their 2011 financial year, the global mobile services provider announced on Tuesday, but said flat-lining service revenues were offset by a growing customer base and rising data use.

The UK-listed telecoms giant reported better than expected net profits for its global operations of 6.68 billion pounds sterling (US$10.7 billion) for the six months ending 30 September. Group revenues rose 4.1 per cent to 23.52 billion pounds ($37.8m) in the reporting period.
Financial results for Vodafone's Egypt operations suggested the impact of the country's January uprising on spending and tourism.  
According to company figures, Vodafone Egypt saw 623 million pounds sterling ($1.001bn) in revenues between the start of April and the end of September 2011. Revenues were 691 million pounds ($1.11bn) for the same period in 2010.
Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) also fell slightly to 271 million pounds sterling ($435.59m) from 323 million ($519.17m) last year.
Adjusted operating profits, though still healthy, were down to 158 million pounds sterling ($235.99m), from 199 million ($320m) in 2010.
There was more encouraging news when it came to Egyptian user numbers, with Vodafone saying it had added 1.575 million new customers between 1 July and 30 September.
There are now 35.35 million Vodafone customers in Egypt, with 96 per cent of them using pre-paid accounts, according to company figures.
Government data for July -- the latest available -- shows Egypt has 77.76 million mobile phone subscribers.
Vodafone -- along with Egypt's two other mobile operators Etisalat and Mobinil -- was forced to shut down its services at the height of the country's protests against Hosni Mubarak's government on 28 January. Services were resumed the following day.
Despite sluggishness in some of its global markets, Vodafone's overall results were significantly better than forecast, prompting the firm to move its outlook for full-year adjusted operating profit to the top end of its range.
It now predicts full-year profits of upwards of 11.4 billion pounds compared with an earlier minimum forecast of 11 billion.
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