Light Reading

Euronews: Vodafone Profits Slip as Europe Suffers

Paul Rainford

Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD), Cable & Wireless Worldwide plc (London: CW) and BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) lead the charge in today's full-frontal assault on the EMEA telecom headlines.

  • Full-year profits at Vodafone were down 11 percent at £7 billion (US$11 billion) as the harsh economic conditions in southern Europe in general and Spain in particular took their toll on the group's numbers. Things would have been worse if it wasn't for the strong data revenue growth -- up 20.2 percent -- in the region. (See Vodafone Full-Year Profits Down 11% and Euronews: Vodafone Suffers in Southern Europe.)

  • Cable & Wireless Worldwide, the ailing U.K.-based services provider which looks like it will be acquired by Vodafone in the not-too-distant future, saw its full-year EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) plummet from £442 million ($697 million) to £378 million ($596 million) year-on-year. Last month the C&WW board recommended Vodafone's cash offer of 38p per share to shareholders. (See C&WW: EBITDA Down 14.4%, Vodafone Offers £1B for C&W Worldwide, Euronews: Tata Considers C&WW Bid, Euronews: Vodafone Eyes M&A Opportunity and Pluthero Back in C&W Hot Seat.)

  • A demonstration of bandwidth trading will be one of the jolly japes to watch out for at Dublin's Management World show, which kicks off today. BT, Intune Networks , Amartus and Nokia Networks are all involved. The group says it has "engineered a way for all the components necessary to trade network resources through a Bandwidth Exchange." If you're there, go see if it's true. (See BT Leads Bandwidth Exchange Demo and Bandwidth Trading Is Back!.)

  • Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) CEO Andrew Barron has been writing to The Guardian to complain about what he sees as BT being effectively subsidized by public money in its government-backed broadband rollout. Today Barron, who claims alternative providers such as Virgin are being frozen out of the process, will give evidence to the Lords communications committee's inquiry on the matter.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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