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Updated: Vodafone India Q2 FY13: 2.1M 3G Subs, 32M Data; Voice Revenue Declines


Update: Updated with highlights from the H1FY13 results.

Vodafone India reported data revenue of GBP 85 million for the quarter ended 30th September 2012 (Q2-FY13), up 2.41% quarter on quarter, and down 4.49% year on year. Messaging revenue for the company was GBP 36 million, down 5.26% quarter on quarter, and an alarming 42.86% year on year. The company, as of 30th September 2012 reported 32 million active data customers, of which approximately 2.1 million were 3G data customers.

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Vodafone’s India revenue declined to GBP 990 million for the quarter, down 4.45% quarter on quarter, and 4.33% year on year. Q2 is typically the toughest quarter for telecom companies in India. Note that the decline in voice revenues should also be seen in conjunction with the decline in voice minutes (down to 144,012 million from 148,042 million last quarter), and a decline in customer base (down 1.04 million to 152,665 million; more data in our datasheet below).

According to Vodafone, “Customer growth in Q2 slowed as customer acquisition costs were reduced, lowering the level of multiple SIM activation, which had a positive effect on margin. At the same time, the anniversary of the introduction of SMS termination fees in Q2 of the prior financial year has also impacted second quarter growth”…”There was also a lower rate of growth at Indus Towers following a slow down in tenancies from new entrants and a change in the pricing structure for some existing customers.”

Data & Messaging

The combination of data and messaging, as indicated in the chart below, had peaked in Q2-FY12, which why the year on year decline appears particularly substantive. Ever since the TRAI guidelines on messaging and Value Added Services (VAS) came into force, both revenue streams have been under pressure: messaging has declined, in case of the data segment (which includes VAS and mobile Internet), there is believed to be growth in mobile Internet usage, and a decline in VAS. To its credit, Vodafone has been the most progressive among telecom operators, integrating with third party developers for billing at a relatively reasonable revenue share of 70:30 (post government taxes) in favor of the developer.

As indicated in the chart below, the contribution of data to Vodafone’s total revenue has increased, even as the contribution of messaging has declined.

Datasheet

Download: Spreadsheet | Press Release | Webcast

From the H1 Results conference:

Vodafone also hosted an H1 results conference in New Delhi. It announced a growth of 13.5% in service revenue at Rs 174,189 million vs Rs 153,538 million in H1 FY12. It also registered an EBITDA of Rs 49,930 million in H1FY13 vs Rs 39,638 million in H1FY12, a 2.8% growth. It attributed the margin improvement to the company’s efforts in leveraging scale benefits and driving operating efficiencies.

Other highlights:

- Vodafone’s servicing 153 million customers through 112,900 sites., with 73 million rural subscribers.

- Its share of incremental industry revenue increased to 30.3%

- Its revenue market share increased to 21% from 20%.

- The company’s browsing revenue was Rs 8,751 million a 50% YoY increase over H1FY12

We asked Vodafone CEO Marten Pieters to share the split between mobile data and VAS revenue but he declined to share specifics, although he did admit that the share of VAS has declined during the last quarter due to regulatory directives. On IPO plans, Pieters reiterated that the company does intend to ahead for an IPO but its awaiting clarity on regulatory matters including spectrum fee, refarming and other related developments.