Publications

Format: Dec 2017
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Wanadoo H1 2002 Results

Wanadoo's results for the first half of 2002, detailed in the attached note, show that the company is well on track to make its target of positive EBITDA as the loss margin has been cut by half on the Internet side of the business. The targeted revenue increase of 30% also looks plausible as Internet access revenues have done well in France due to migration of the subscriber base to higher priced broadband packages. Wanadoo hopes to have 1 million broadband subscribers by the end of the year, and is counting on the rollout of a new lower speed (128k) and lower-priced broadband package in mid-October. The French Competition Commission has also permitted the company to again market its broadband packs in FT's network of shops, cutting customer acquisition costs. Margins will improve in mid-October due to wholesale broadband price declines mandated by the regulator ART.

We think that the business is worth about €6bn, rather less than the €7-9bn that the investment banks are projecting. The difference arises because we think that they over-estimate the value of Universal’s music publishing business and expect a faster upturn in recorded music sales. But Universal is clearly strongest of the major music companies and we do expect the company’s margins to recover from the low levels seen this year.

  • France Telecom
Media 29 September 2002
Wanadoo FY 2002 Results

Wanadoo reached an important milestone in 2002, reporting its first (very small) positive EBITDA margin on its French Internet business, thanks to broadband-related revenue increases and lower narrowband and broadband access costs. In contrast, losses widened at Wanadoo's Internet properties outside France, in particular Freeserve in the UK and Eresmas is Spain, but these were more than fully offset by profits on the Directories segment. This note looks ahead to 2003, when Wanadoo expects to reach positive EBITDA on the Internet segment as a whole, thanks to continued improvement in France and tightly contained losses at Freeserve and Eresmas.

  • France Telecom
Media 3 April 2003
Wanadoo

Wanadoo is a business combining extensive interests in European ISPs with a strongly cash-generative directory business. Wanadoo's position as the leading French ISP is secure. Its position as an ISP in other markets is much less happy; in particular, Freeserve in the UK is not performing well. In this report, we address the underlying reasons why the French ISP business is healthy while the low ARPUs and poor or negative access margins in other countries are draining the company's profitability. Section A of the report provides detailed projections of 2002 for Wanadoo ISP operations. We try to show why the unmetered access model for narrowband ISPs is dangerous.

This note inquires into the difficult question of what really drives the capital expenditure of mobile operators. We try to show that since much capital investment is actually replacement of existing assets, the importance of the declining growth rate in call minutes in reducing capex is overstated. Our - very rough - estimate is that a mature European 2G operator will probably have to spend about 15% of sales on capital expenditure for years to come. This is in marked contrast to the more optimistic operators, who have publicly offered targets of below 10%. Similarly, we see little relief from 3G. While it is undoubtedly true that 3G provides more bits per buck, the costs of running a 3G network alongside a 2G infrastructure more than outweigh this advantage. Observers should also note that the capital efficiency benefits of 3G are largely illusory, since the savings in the network are wiped out by the higher handset costs.

  • France Telecom
Media 3 April 2002
Waiting for Googlephone

Google has announced that, alongside other industry partners, it is to create ‘Android’, a new operating system for mobile phones which is designed to facilitate the design and use of 3rd party applications, and which is planned to be in handsets from H2 2008

  • Google
Telecoms, Mobile 9 November 2007
Volumes slow, but revenue robust: UK broadband, telephony and pay TV trends Q2 2016

UK residential communications market revenue growth was broadly unchanged at 5% in Q2, despite volume growth continuing to slow across all products, with pricing and fibre adoption helping to boost ARPU

The combination of weakening market growth and an accelerating Virgin Media (on the back of its Project Lightning network extension) is putting pressure on the other operators, all of which were weak in subscriber terms

These factors bode for a competitive Q3 with the major operators offering very aggressive promotions in the battle for subscribers at the start of the football season. Underlying pricing though looks firm with price rises already implemented, scheduled or expected in Q4

  • BT
  • Sky
  • TalkTalk
  • Virgin Media
Fixed Line, Telecoms 23 August 2016
Voicing concerns: virtual assistants and the media

Voice, and the smart virtual assistants that power voice interfaces, will be a key transformative force over the next five years

Any business providing content or services via digital means is potentially affected, as these virtual assistants promise a single front end for all digital services, representing an extraordinary concentration of control over discovery, delivery and data

Media businesses will clearly be affected. But there is an opportunity for them right now to influence the assistant providers to their advantage, a window that will not stay open forever

  • Amazon
  • BBC
  • Google
  • Samsung
  • Sky
Internet, Media, Technology, TV 23 August 2017
Voice-over-IP

Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP) is a fashionable topic and this report provides our assessment about whether the mass market potential in Europe matches the rhetoric of enthusiasts or the experience of the United States. In other words, does VoIP represent a fundamental threat to the continent's (and the UK's) incumbent telecoms operators, which still dominate the fixed telephony business? In our view, VoIP in Europe has quite a limited potential for consumers in general although business applications will expand significantly.

Fixed Line 6 April 2004
Vodafone: Strategy vs. Reality

Vodafone's strategic direction appears little altered since its change of CEO earlier this year. In this report we look at the company’s overall global positioning and prospects.

  • Vodafone
Telecoms 19 December 2003
Vodafone: all change?

Vodafone’s discussions with Softbank to exit Japan could remove its most troubled and ill-fitting subsidiary, but only if the structure allows for a clean break, which will require tricky financial engineering given Softbank’s limited ability to pay

We estimate that savings for the typical French contract customer would actually be around 5%, and therefore not worth the extra handset cost and inconvenience involved 

  • Vodafone
Telecoms 6 March 2006
Vodafone, KDG and quad play in Europe

German unbundlers are in decline, unable to match cable for price or bandwidth, or to invest in new fibre networks. Vodafone, the second largest unbundler, must choose between consolidating and divesting Merging with Kabel Deutschland would deliver fixed line synergies – with high execution risks. But, based on the French and Spanish experiences, we doubt that a quad play strategy (synonymous with a price war) would generate value Mobile operators’ fixed line ventures are also in decline elsewhere in Europe, but cable is not always to blame, with pure play fixed line altnets also tending to outperform them, suggesting that genuine cross-selling advantages are marginal at best

  • Vodafone
  • Telefonica
  • SFR
  • Orange
  • Iliad
Non-UK Telecoms, Fixed Line, Mobile, Telecoms 21 March 2013
Vodafone UK data pricing: free for £5 a month

Vodafone UK has announced a tariff refresh that includes ‘free’ mobile browsing with all of its new contract plans

  • Vodafone
Telecoms, Mobile 30 April 2008
Vodafone UK broadband launch

Vodafone UK’s new broadband product is not very competitively priced compared to the offers from Carphone Warehouse and Orange, costing £5-10 a month more than the nearest equivalent packages

  • Orange
  • Carphone Warehouse
  • Vodafone
Telecoms, Fixed Line 13 November 2006
Vodafone results: diverting to fixed line?

Vodafone's performance in its core European markets is continuing to worsen in both absolute terms and in relation to its competitors, and its margin progression is weak 

There is little evidence of a revenue meltdown

  • Vodafone
Telecoms 31 May 2006
Vodafone Radio DJ

Vodafone announced last week a new extension to its range of music services that will offer European subscribers interactive mobile radio through a collaboration with Sony NetServices

More prominent profile of media in Free's mix of broadband, telephony and IPTV to improve customer retention and attract content owners to Free's broadband distribution channel, while VoIP remains the principal driver for non-access revenues

  • Vodafone
Telecoms 18 January 2006
Vodafone Q4 2016/17 results: Solid results, better (short-term) outlook

Vodafone Europe’s mobile service revenue growth declined again to -1.0% from -0.6% in the previous quarter, but across the core top 4 markets it was essentially flat at -0.8%, and signs are encouraging for it improving next quarter

Contract subscriber share has (at last) stabilised across its top 4 markets, and continuing improvements in NPS suggest that Project Spring investments are finally being reflected in subscriber sentiment

The short-term outlook is positive with both subscriber growth and ARPU looking solid at worst. The longer-term results of market consolidation are the main threat, with powerful competitors potentially being created

  • Vodafone
Mobile, Telecoms, Vodafone 21 June 2017
Vodafone Q4 2015/16 results: Positive growth in Europe

Vodafone Europe’s service revenue growth reached positive territory in the March quarter, having recovered from a long term decline that it has suffered since 2009, thanks mainly to market stabilisation within the countries where it operates

The company’s service revenues are now growing in Germany, Italy and Spain, with the UK now the laggard, having suffered from recent billing migration issues

With Europe’s major mobile markets now stabilised, Vodafone’s continued high investment levels gives it an opportunity to develop a competitive advantage and outperform its competitors, rather than just keeping up with them

  • Vodafone
Telecoms 24 May 2016
Vodafone Q4 2014/15 results: Modest improvement, but not in Germany

Vodafone Europe’s revenue growth improved again in the March quarter, but not by as much as the previous trend, or by as much as the mobile market in general

Operational trends look more solid, with data growth continuing to accelerate and Project Spring delivering improvements in some markets

The biggest blip was in Germany, a quad play market for Vodafone, and we remain sceptical of the operational benefits of convergence as Liberty Global merger speculation re-surfaces

  • Vodafone
Mobile, Telecoms 4 June 2015
Vodafone Q4 2013/14 results: Still weak, recovery some way off

Vodafone Europe’s service revenue growth improved by 1.1ppts to -8.5% in the March quarter, but this was all driven by a waning regulatory impact, with underlying growth nudging down slightly

The company’s service revenue growth improved a fraction more than its competitors, but it has barely narrowed the substantial gap, and contract net adds share fell after three consecutive quarters of improvement

Hopes for a recovery in underlying growth still centre on M&A, with EC decisions due in June, and on the Project Spring investment paying off, but this is unlikely to result in improved financial metrics for a year at least

  • Vodafone
Mobile, Telecoms 21 May 2014
Vodafone Q4 2012/13 results: Growth drops, 4G going slow

Vodafone’s European revenue slowed again, with declining underlying growth compounded by increased MTR cuts, and Vodafone Red tariffs seemingly driving both reduced customer acquisition and ARPU

Vodafone is investing in 4G on a leisurely timetable, planning to upgrade only 40% of sites to 4G by March 2015, and is seemingly more concerned about securing fixed fibre access than driving mobile

The March quarter growth may mark a nadir of sorts, but we believe a return to positive growth can only come when Vodafone apes its US associate and invests substantially in its network to truly differentiate

  • Vodafone
Mobile, Telecoms 21 May 2013
Vodafone Q3 Interim Management Statement: slowing less quickly

Vodafone’s December quarter KPIs showed only slightly worse underlying European revenue growth compared to last quarter, with another plummet in growth in Spain moderated by improving figures in Germany

In the context of GDP growth across its markets being considerably worse, this is a relatively good performance, with its market share loss likely to prove less severe than last quarter

However, its growth is still very substantially worse than earlier in the year, even compared to GDP, and with GDP declines set to worsen through 2009, and termination rate cuts to bite again in the second half of 2009, growth is likely to decline further

  • Vodafone
Telecoms, Mobile, Non-UK Telecoms 4 February 2009

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