Operators post mixed quarterly results

With a host of businesses posting quarterly earnings results today, takes a look at how operators around the world are faring.

In the US, Sprint Nextel posted disappointing full-year results. For the fourth quarter of 2011, ending December 31, the company recorded a huge loss of $1.3bn, which is a greater loss than the $929m loss that the company posted in the same quarter of 2010.

This was despite net operating revenue reaching $8.7bn, higher than the $8.3bn recorded in the same period of 2010.

For the full year, the operator posted revenues of $33.7bn, 3.4 per cent up from the $32.6 it recorded in 2010. Its net loss for the full-year was $2.9bn, an improvement on the $3.4bn loss made in 2010.

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse opted to highlight the company’s reported total net subscriber additions of 1.6 million during the quarter; its strongest quarterly subscriber growth in six years.

“Our strong fourth quarter performance illustrates the power of matching iconic devices like the iPhone with our simple, unlimited plans and industry-leading customer experience,” he said.

“During the past year, Sprint added more than 5 million net new customers and grew wireless service revenue by more than 5 per cent, including 17 per cent for the Sprint platform. This momentum gives us confidence as we execute our network vision upgrade and 4G LTE roll-out.”

Vodafone Group, meanwhile, posted a 2.3 per cent drop in group revenue for the quarter ending December 31, 2012, to see sales total £11.6bn ($18.4bn). However, the company said that its organic growth for the quarter stood at 1.6 per cent. The company does not post its net profit figures until the end of the financial year, which will be March 31 2012.

The group blamed economic conditions in southern Europe for the decline in revenue it saw in Italy and Spain, where revenues dropped by 4.9 per cent and 8.8 per cent respectively.

There was progress in Germany and the UK though, where revenues increased modestly; by 0.7 per cent and 1.1 per cent respectively.

However, in India, the company reported strong service revenue growth of 20 per cent, and in Turkey it saw a 23.5 per cent growth.

Vodacom, the group’s South African subsidiary, also posted an increase in service revenue of 8 per cent, up from the 6.7 per cent growth it saw in Q2. The firm attributed this to faster growth in Vodacom’s markets outside of South Africa. In South Africa growth remained stable at 4.9 per cent.

The group also noted that it saw continued strong growth in its US associate, Verizon Wireless, where service revenue grew by 6.8 per cent, and overall, revenue from data services increased by 21.8 per cent.

“Despite the further deterioration of the southern European economic environment during the quarter, our broad geographic mix is delivering a resilient overall performance,” said chief executive Vittorio Colao.

“Our improved value perception, strong cash generation and healthy balance sheet give us confidence that we can continue to execute well.”

Telstra also posted its earnings results for its second quarter of the fiscal year, which ended December 31, 2011. The Australian operator saw its revenue increase by a modest 1.1 per cent to reach AU$12.4bn (US$13.4bn), while net profit jumped by 22.9 per cent, or AU$274m to AU$1.47bn.

The company said that it continued to attract new customers in the half year, adding 958,000 domestic mobile customers, including 338,000 postpaid handheld and 436,000 mobile broadband customers, as well as 106,000 fixed broadband customers.

“Last year we recorded one of our best years for customer growth. This momentum has continued into the first half of fiscal 2012,” said CEO David Thodey.

“We are also seeing improvement in Telstra’s customer service with TIO complaints down 24 per cent over the year, though we still have more work to do.”

He added that the firm will continue to focus on improving customer satisfaction, growing customer numbers, simplifying the business and taking advantage of new growth opportunities.

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