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Euronews: Europe Puts Brakes on Vodafone

Paul Rainford

Vodafone Group plc, Alcatel-Lucent, Swisscom AG and Transmode Systems AB have hats in the ring for today's bout of EMEA news.

  • A decline in sales in Europe took its toll on Vodafone's bottom line in its fiscal third quarter, with service revenue in the operator's Southern Europe region falling by a scary 11.9 percent. In terms of specific countries, Italy was a particular problem, falling 13.8 percent in revenue, outdoing even basket-case Spain. In the Northern and Central Europe region things weren't quite so bad, though revenue was still down 0.9 percent overall, with the U.K. down 5.2 percent and the Netherlands down 3.5 percent. As Bloomberg reports, the damage was slightly worse than analysts had predicted, with group service revenue falling 2.6 percent to £10.4 billion (US$16.3 billion) for the period. Last month the operator announced that it was cutting up to 1,000 jobs in Spain, this despite earlier salary cuts. (See Vodafone's Fiscal Q3 Sales Dip and Euronews: Vodafone Stung in Southern Europe.)
  • Alcatel-Lucent has confirmed that Ben Verwaayen is to step down as CEO after four and a half years in the job. The vendor has had a well documented tough time of it in recent months, with margins shrinking and profitability remaining elusive. In a statement, AlcaLu said that Verwaayen will step down "once a successful transition has been executed." (See CEO Verwaayen to Step Down at Alcatel-Lucent and AlcaLu Reports Q4 Loss of €1.37B.)
  • Discounting the distortion caused by last year's impairment charge at Italian subsidiary Fastweb, full-year EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) at Swisscom were down 2.1 percent to CHF 3.76 billion ($4.14 billion). The number of Swisscom employees fell 2.7 percent year-on-year to 19,514. (See Swisscom Reports 2012 Profit Rise.)
  • Transmode, the Swedish optical equipment vendor, has made a couple of senior appointments: Johan Wilsby, previously at Hewlett-Packard Co., has been been named CFO; and LTE specialist Ingrid Nordmark has jumped from the good ship Ericsson AB to become Transmode's new vice president, research and development. — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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