RNS Number : 6066G
Vodafone Group Plc
07 June 2013
7 June 2013
Vodafone Group Plc ("Vodafone" or the "Company")
2013 Annual Report
2013 Notice of Annual General Meeting
In accordance with Listing Rule 9.6.1, Vodafone has uploaded a copy of each of the above documents to the National Storage Mechanism.
The 2013 Annual Report is available at vodafone.com/ar2013 and the 2013 Notice of Annual General Meeting is available at vodafone.com/agm.
A condensed set of Vodafone's financial statements and information on important events that have occurred during the financial year ended 31 March 2013 and their impact on the financial statements were included in Vodafone's preliminary results announcement released on 21 May 2013. That information, together with the information set out below, which is extracted from the 2013 Annual Report, constitute the material required by Disclosure and Transparency Rule 6.3.5 which is required to be communicated to the media in full unedited text through a Regulatory Information Service. This announcement is not a substitute for reading the full 2013 Annual Report. Page and note references in the text below refer to page numbers in the 2013 Annual Report and notes to the financial statements.
PRINCIPAL RISK FACTORS AND UNCERTAINTIES
1. Our business could be adversely affected by a failureor significant interruption to our telecommunications networks or IT systems.
We are dependent on the continued operation of telecommunications networks. As the importance of mobile and fixed communication in everyday life increases, as well as during times of crisis, organisations and individuals look to us to maintain service. Major failures in the network or our IT systems may result in service being interrupted resulting in serious damage to our reputation and consequential customer and revenue loss.
There is a risk that an attack on our infrastructure by a malicious individual or group could be successful and impact the availability of critical systems. Our network is also susceptible to interruption due to a physical attack and theft of our network components as the value and market for network components increases (for example copper, batteries, generators and fuel).
2. We could suffer loss of consumer confidence and/or legalaction due to a failure to protect our customer information.
Mobile networks carry and store large volumes of confidentialpersonal and business voice traffic and data. We host increasingquantities and types of customer data in both enterprise and consumer segments. We need to ensure our service environments are sufficiently secure to protect us from loss or corruption of customer information. Failure to protect adequately customer information could have a material adverse effect on our reputation and may lead to legal action against the Group.
3. Increased competition may reduce our market share and profitability.
We face intensifying competition where all operators are looking to secure a share of the potential customer base. Competition could lead to a reduction in the rate at which we add new customers, a decrease in the size of our market share and a decline in our average revenue per customer, if customers choose to receive telecommunications services or other competing services from alternate providers. Competition can also lead to an increase in customer acquisition and retention costs. The focus of competition in many of our markets has shifted from acquiring new customers to retaining existing customers, as the market for mobile telecommunications has become increasingly mature.
4. Regulatory decisions and changes in the regulatoryenvironment could adversely affect our business.
We have ventures in both emerging and mature markets, spanninga broad geographical area including Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia Pacific and the US. We need to comply with an extensive range of requirements that regulate and supervise the licensing, construction and operation of our telecommunications networks and services. Pressure on political and regulatory institutions both to deliver direct consumer benefit and protect consumers' interests, particularly in recessionary periods, can lead to adverse impacts on our business. Financial pressureson smaller competitors can drive them to call for regulators to protect them. Increased financial pressures on governments may lead them to target foreign investors for further taxes or licence fees.
5. Our existing service offerings could become disadvantaged as compared to those offered by converged competitors or other technology providers.
In a number of markets we face competition from providers whohave the ability to sell converged services (combinations of fixed line, broadband, public Wi-Fi, TV and mobile) on their existing infrastructure which we cannot either replicate or provide at a similar price point. Additionally, the combination of services may allow competitors to subsidise the mobile component of their offering. This could lead to an erosion of our customer base and reduce the demand for our core services and impact our future profitability.
Advances in smartphone technology places more focus on applications, operating systems, and devices rather than the underlying services provided by mobile operators. The development of applications which make use of the internet as a substitute for some of our more traditional services, such as messaging and voice, could erode revenue. Reduced demand for our core services of voice, messaging and data and the development of services by application developers, operating system providers, and handset suppliers could significantly impact our future profitability.
6. Severely deteriorating economic conditions could impact one or more of our markets.
Economic conditions in many of the markets where we operate,especially in Europe, continue to deteriorate or stagnate. Theseconditions, combined with the impact of austerity measures, resultin lower levels of disposable income and may result in significantly lower revenue as customers give up their mobile devices or move to cheaper tariffs.
There is also a possibility of one or more countries exiting the eurozone, causing currency devaluation in certain countries and possibly leading to a reduction in our revenue and impairment of our financial and non-financial assets. This may also lead to further adverse economic impacts elsewhere.
7. Our business may be impacted by actual or perceived health risks associated with the transmission of radio waves from mobile telephones, transmitters and associated equipment.
Concerns have been expressed that the electromagnetic signalsemitted by mobile telephone handsets and base stations may pose health risks. We are not aware that such health risks have been substantiated, however, in the event of a major scientific finding supporting this view this might result in prohibitive legislation being introduced by governments (or the European Union), a major reduction in mobile phone usage (especially by children), a requirement to move base station sites, significant difficulty renewing or acquiring site leases, and/or major litigation. An inadequate response to electromagnetic fields ('EMF') issues may result in loss of confidence in the industry and Vodafone.
8. Failure to deliver enterprise service offerings may adversely affect our business.
By expanding our enterprise service offerings through thegrowth of Vodafone Global Enterprise, the acquisitions of CWW andTelstraClear, and the establishment of cloud, hosting and international carrier services, the Group increasingly provides fixed and mobile communication services to organisations that may provide vital national services. These organisations rely on our networks and systems 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to deliver their products and services to their customers. A failure to build and maintain our infrastructure to the required levels of resilience for enterprise customers and to deliver to our contracted service level agreements may result in a costly business impact and cause serious damage to our reputation.
9. We depend on a number of key suppliers to operate our business.
We depend on a limited number of suppliers for strategicallyimportant network and IT infrastructure and associated supportservices to operate and upgrade our networks and provide key services to our customers. Our operations could be adversely impacted by the failure of a key supplier who could no longer support our existing infrastructure, by a key supplier commercially exploiting their position in a product area following the corporate failures of/the withdrawal from a specific market by competitors, or by major suppliers significantly increasing prices on long-term programmes where the cost or technical feasibility of switching supplier becomes a significant barrier.
10. We may not satisfactorily resolve major tax disputes.
We operate in many jurisdictions around the world and from time to time have disputes on the amount of tax due. In particular, in spite of the positive India Supreme Court decision relating to an ongoing tax case in India, the Indian government has introduced retrospective tax legislation which would in effect overturn the court's decision and has raised challenges around the pricing of capital transactions.Such or similar types of action in other jurisdictions, including changes in local or international tax rules or new challenges by tax authorities, may expose us to significant additional tax liabilities which would affect the results of the business.
11. Changes in assumptions underlying the carrying value of certain Group assets could result in impairment.
Due to the substantial carrying value of goodwill underInternational Financial Reporting Standards, revisions to theassumptions used in assessing its recoverability, including discount rates, estimated future cash flows or anticipated changes in operations, could lead to the impairment of certain Group assets. While impairment does not impact reported cash flows, it does result in a non-cash charge in the consolidated income statement and thus no assurance can be given that any future impairments would not affect our reported distributable reserves and, therefore, our ability to make dividend distributions to our shareholders or repurchase our shares.
RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS
The Group has a number of related parties including joint ventures (refer to note 14), associates (refer to note 15), pension schemes (refer to note A5 for the Group's contributions), directors and Executive Committee members(refer to note 4 for amounts paid to them).
Transactions with joint ventures and associates
Related party transactions with the Group's joint ventures and associates primarily comprise fees for the use of products and services including network airtime and access charges, and cash pooling arrangements.
No related party transactions have been entered into during the year which might reasonably affect any decisions made by the users of these consolidated financial statements except as disclosed below. Transactions between the Company and its joint ventures are not material to the extent that they have not been eliminated through proportionate consolidation or disclosed below.
2013 2012 2011
GBPm GBPm GBPm
------------------------------------------------- ------ ------ ------
Sales of goods and services to associates 241 195 327
Purchase of goods and services from associates 105 107 171
Purchase of goods and services from joint
ventures 329 207 206
Net interest receivable from joint ventures(1) (14) (7) (14)
------------------------------------------------- ------ ------ ------
Trade balances owed:
by associates 21 15 52
to associates 19 18 23
by joint ventures 119 9 27
to joint ventures 27 89 67
Other balances owed by joint ventures(1) 337 365 176
------------------------------------------------- ------ ------ ------
1 Amounts arise primarily through Vodafone Italy, Vodafone Hutchison Australia, Indus Towers and Cornerstone, and represent amounts not eliminated on consolidation. Interest is paid in line with market rates.
Amounts owed by and owed to associates are disclosed within notes 17 and 18. Dividends received from associates are disclosed in the consolidated statement of cash flows.
Transactions with directors other than compensation
During the three years ended 31 March 2013, and as of 20 May 2013, neither any director nor any other executive officer, nor any associate of any director or any other executive officer, was indebted to the Company.
During the three years ended 31 March 2013, and as of 20 May 2013, the Company has not been a party to any other material transaction, or proposed transactions, in which any member of the key management personnel (including directors, any other executive officer, senior manager, any spouse or relative of any of the foregoing or any relative of such spouse) had or was to have a direct or indirect material interest.
DIRECTORS' RESPONSIBILITY STATEMENT
As set out above, this statement is repeated here solely for the purposes of complying with Disclosure and Transparency Rule 6.3.5. This statement relates to and is extracted from the 2013 Annual Report. It is not connected to the extracted information presented in this announcement or the preliminary results announcement released on 21 May 2013.
"The Board confirms to the best of its knowledge:
-- the consolidated financial statements, prepared in accordance with IFRS as issued by the IASB and IFRS as adopted by the EU, give a true and fair view of the assets, liabilities, financial position and profit or loss of the Group; and
-- the directors' report includes a fair review of the development and performance of the business and the position of the Group together with a description of the principal risks and uncertainties that it faces.
The directors are responsible for preparing the annual report in accordance with applicable law and regulations. Having taken advice from the Audit and Risk Committee, the Board considers the report and accounts, taken as a whole, as fair, balanced and understandable and that it provides the information necessary for shareholders to assess the Company's performance, business model and strategy.
Neither the Company nor the directors accept any liability to any person in relation to the annual report except to the extent that such liability could arise under English law. Accordingly, any liability to a person who has demonstrated reliance on any untrue or misleading statement or omission shall be determined in accordance with section 90A and schedule 10A of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.
By Order of the Board
21 May 2013"
This document contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the US Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 with respect to the Group's financial condition, results of operations and businesses and certain of the Group's plans and objectives. Forward-looking statements are sometimes, but not always, identified by their use of a date in the future or such words as "will", "anticipates", "aims", "could", "may", "should", "expects", "believes", "intends", "plans" or "targets". By their nature, forward-looking statements are inherently predictive, speculative and involve risk and uncertainty because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that will occur in the future. There are a number of factors that could cause actual results and developments to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. A review of the reasons why actual results and developments may differ materially from the expectations disclosed or implied within forward-looking statements can be found under "Forward-looking statements" on pages 185 and 186 of the 2013 Annual Report. All subsequent written or oral forward-looking statements attributable to the Company or any member of the Group or any persons acting on their behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by the factors referred to above. No assurances can be given that the forward-looking statements in this document will be realised. Subject to compliance with applicable law and regulations, Vodafone does not intend to update these forward-looking statements and does not undertake any obligation to do so.
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