Global telco brand Vodafone said it remained resilient in the face of the global pandemic as revenue dipped by 2.3% to €21.42bn for the half year.
Pretax profits came in at €1.5bn versus a loss of €1.9bn the previous year as the company continues its transformation into a digital enabler.
Vodafone automating jobs
The firm hinted that more jobs may go as it continues to automate various roles in its voice over internet services and shared operations divisions.
“Approximately 30% of the Group’s headcount works in _VOIS and shared operations, and in the last two and a half years we have automated over 4,600 roles”, it said in its half year results statement.
“We are continuing to transform the business and evolve the Group digital toolset – including TOBi and Robotic Process Automation – in order to further our productivity leadership.”
Among its key achievements this year, the FTSE100 listed firm said it had deepened customer engagement, with mobile contract customer loyalty improving year-on-year for an 8th successive quarter.
It’s also now launched 5G in 127 cities across nine of its European markets and that it now boasted 52 million marketable homes were now installed with Gigabit speeds.
However, it also added that, in response to the trading conditions related to the pandemic, it had accelerated a series of cost saving activities, resulting in a €300 million net reduction in its Europe and Common Functions operating expenditure.
Nick Read, Group Chief Executive, commented: “Today’s results underline increased confidence in our full year outlook.
“We are reporting a resilient first half performance and we continue to see good commercial momentum across the Group.
He added that the results demonstrate the success of Vodafone’s strategic priorities to date; namely increasing customer loyalty, growing our fixed broadband base, driving digitisation to simplify the company and capture significant cost savings, and deliver 5G efficiently through network sharing.
“COVID-19 and the reduction in roaming revenues, through the significant reduction in international travel, is currently obscuring our underlying commercial progress, with Q2 service revenue growing by 1.5% excluding roaming” Read said.
“We are now two years into our longer-term strategy to transform Vodafone into a business that enables a digital society, generating both sustainable growth and attractive returns.
“We are executing at pace, but there remains more to be done to achieve our goals.
“Now, more than ever, the connectivity services we provide are critical for society and the demand is growing for our services. I am proud of how our dedicated employees have worked tirelessly around the clock to keep everyone connected.”
There was good news for investors, as the firm maintained its dividend at 4.5 euro cents per share – an oasis in the dividend desert these days.
Vodafone’s shares were trading 3.6% higher at £1.23 following the results.