Vodafone, the world’s largest wireless carrier by revenue, beat analysts’ 12-month sales and profit expectations, and announced that CEO Arun Sarin would step down in July — an unexpected retirement.
Vodafone posted £35.48 billion ($70 billion) of revenue in the 12 months ending March 31, up 14% year-over-year and beating analysts’ £35.32 billion consensus, according to MarketWatch. The carrier made £6.66 billion ($13.2 billion) of profit during the year, beating analysts’ £6.26 billion estimate.
Leading growth: Emerging markets and data revenue, which jumped 41% year-over-year. Also making a “huge” impact, according to Vodafone’s CFO: Foreign exchange rates. Vodafone had 260 million subscribers at the end of March.
The company also said five-year CEO Arun Sarin would step down in July; he’ll be succeeded by deputy Vittorio Colao. AP:
Sarin, 53, faced disquiet two years ago when nearly 10 per cent of Vodafone shareholders voted against his re-election as chief executive. Investors were unhappy about an acquisition-heavy expansion and calls for a spin off its stake in U.S. subsidiary Verizon Wireless.
Sarin has been credited with expanding Vodafone’s operations in fast-growing emerging markets, such as Eastern Europe and India, through a series of large acquisitions, culminating in last year’s 5.7 billion pound purchase of a controlling stake in Hutchison Essar, one of India’s biggest mobile-phone groups.
Sarin also secured a deal to sell Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone in 10 countries — including Australia, European countries, and India — “later this year.”