Vodafone Ireland has continued to haemorrhage customers, according to its latest interim report, with 29,000 mobile users moving away from the world’s second largest mobile operator in the last three months.
The announcement follows news in July that its mobile customer base — which now stands at 2.3m — fell by 34,000 in the second quarter.
The drop-off in customer numbers was partly offset by increased average revenue per user, however, which rose 2.4% quarter-on-quarter to €29.3 in the three months to the end of September.
While the company’s Irish division continues to face significant challenges, the English-based company’s overall performance experienced a marginal uptick in commercial performance in the same period.
Vodafone’s first-half revenue rose 8.9% to £20.8bn (€26.55bn) although its organic service revenue fell 2.8%.
Service revenue in a number of key markets continued to decrease but to a lesser degree than in previous quarters with Germany (-3.4%); Italy (-9.7%); UK (-3%); and Spain (-9.3%) all delivering improved performances.
“We have made encouraging progress during the quarter. There is growing evidence of stabilisation in a number of our European markets, supported by improvements in our commerical execution and very strong demand for data,” said Vodafone Group chief executive Vittorio Colao.
“Our markets continue to be highly competitive, and regulatory and macroeconomic risks remain. However, we are not yet halfway through our investment programme, and there is still much more we will do to build a differentiated service for customers and improve perception.”
Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation, and amortisation fell 10% in the first half of the year to £5.9bn while adjusted earnings per share of 2.63p fell 46.5%, mainly reflecting the group’s lower adjusted operating profit over the period.
In Ireland, smartphone usage continues to be a key growth driver for the company, with demand for data services up 2.6% on a quarterly basis and 13.7% year on year.
Mobile data usage saw a 17% increase in the quarter and a 55% increase in the last 12 months. Over 65% of Vodafone customers now use a smartphone and 78% of the company’s mobile customer base now regularly uses mobile data.
The company’s fixed base business also grew here in the quarter to 267,000 customers, a 2.8% increase over the past three months and more than 7.5% up year on year.
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