On the eve of what promises to be a stormy shareholders’ meeting, the troubled mobile phone operator Vodafone issued a trading update in which it says it added 4.5 million new customers in its first quarter and reiterated its forecasts for full-year revenue growth and profit.
But investors remain unhappy with chief executive Arun Sarin. A large block of them questioning his strategy for growth and his leadership and intend to vote against Sarin’s re-election to the board. He is not in serious danger of being kicked out, but will have to work hard to placate the investors.
Vodafone is facing intense competition in its core European market. Its annual average revenue per user fell by around 9% in Germany and Italy and the company suffered another blow when a key executive Bill Morrow, who was due to head its European unit, said he is leaving the company for family reasons.