Vodafone falls into the red after heavy investment in IT infrastructure

Revenues rise 1.4% to €933.8m for company which has over 2.3m customers in Republic

Vodafone Ireland has recorded a €5.04 million pretax loss for the 12 months ending March 2019 after investing heavily in its network ahead of the roll-out of 5G services.

The company, which became the first mobile operator to roll out 5G in the Republic earlier this year, reversed a €5.6 million profit in the 2018 fiscal year after ploughing money into upgrading its infrastructure.

As well as rolling out 5G services across five cities for the first time, the company continued to invest in 4G technology last year. It also continued with a soon-to-be completed €120 million project to overhaul its existing IT infrastructure to provide customers with a fully converged product and billing system for the first time.

Vodafone recorded a 1.4 per cent rise in revenues to €946.5 million from €933.8 million in the prior year as earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) grew to €175.3 million.


The company posted an operating profit of €8.6 million, down from €13.5 million in 2018.

“It has been another positive year for Vodafone Ireland, which has seen growth across all the key areas of our business and reflects the ongoing strength of our key offerings – particularly across fixed broadband and mobile,” said chief executive Anne O’Leary.

Vodafone, which is the largest mobile operator in the Republic, has 2.3 million customers in total.

The group said it added 328,000 broadband customers last year, as well as 41,000 mobile subscribers.

The company said that at the end of March, more than 1.1 million devices were being used on its 4G network, as rise of 26 per cent versus the same period a year earlier.

Vodafone ended the year under review with net liabilities of € 60.7 million, down from €79.6 million in 2018.

The group, which month confirmed a €40 million seven-year deal to manage Ryanair’s digital infrastructure, employed 1,067 people last year with staff costs totalling €100.1 million.

The company was owed €93.5 million by Siro, the joint venture it has with ESB.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist