Vodafone Group plc (LON:VOD) continues to invest in areas of growth potential.
Vodafone (LSE: VOD) (NASDAQ: VOD.US) released its interim management statement this morning, with the news that its European operations have suffered in the last quarter.
Overall, quarterly revenues fell 2% on a reported basis (down 1.8% organically) to £11.39bn. Southern Europe saw group service revenue decline 17% (11.9% organically) to £2.34bn, with Italy dropping off 13.8% and Spain shedding 11.3%.
Northern and Central Europe didn't fare well, either, down 0.9% on an organic basis -- but up 5.9% on reported figures -- with the UK seeing a decline of 5.2% and even the stronghold of Germany dipping 0.2%.
Much like we've seen from many of the FTSE 100's biggest constituents in recent results, emerging markets were something of a saving grace for the company, with India increasing group service revenue 9%, and Turkey a whopping 18.4%.
Vodafone chief executive Vittorio Colao commented:
"Our results continue to reflect very difficult market conditions in Europe. We are addressing this through firm actions on cost efficiency, and continuing to invest in areas of growth potential. We continue to make progress in our Vodafone 2015 strategy, with good revenue growth in data and emerging markets, the launch of LTE services in another four markets and the acquisition of new spectrum."
The telecommunications group has also launched 'Vodafone Red', a value plan for its customers, in five markets. 48.3% of European mobile service revenue is now in-bundle, with Colao saying Vodafone Red has seen "positive early take-up... to drive growth in enterprise we have created a new enterprise business unit and accelerated our integration plans for Cable & Wireless Worldwide."
Over in the States, Vodafone's Verizon Wireless joint-venture saw service revenues grow 8.7%, driven by strong customer additions. The £2.4bn dividend received from that operation has seen Vodafone's net debt reduce to £23.3bn.
After a 2% rise in early trading to 173.81p, the shares are currently on a prospective yield of around 5.8%, one of the best available in the FTSE 100.
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> Sam owns shares in Vodafone.