Joosub leaves mixed legacy in Spain
In the 2012 financial year, profit margins at Vodafone in Spain tumbled due to that country's weak economy and high unemployment rate. By Duncan McLeod.
In the first year he held the reins at Vodafone Spain, Vodacom Group CEO-designate Shameel Joosub had to contend with a struggling Spanish economy and intense competition that resulted in a sharp fall in profits and margins on his watch.
Joosub, formerly MD of Vodacom SA, took the reins at Vodafone Spain in April 2011 from Francisco Román, a former Microsoft executive who joined the operator in 2003.
He will return to Vodacom in September, two months from now, after just 18 months at Vodafone’s Spanish subsidiary, taking over the top job from Pieter Uys on 1 April 2013 after a seven-month handover period. Vodacom announced Uys’s resignation on Thursday.
Vodafone’s annual financial results for the year ended 31 March 2012 — the first year Joosub was CEO the Spanish business — show service revenues at the subsidiary declined by 9,4% and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) plunged by 24,9%.
Ebitda margins declined by five percentage points compared to the 2011 financial year. Adjusted operating profit fell by 39,2%, from £915m to £566m.
Vodafone blamed the poor performance in Spain on “intense competition, continuing economic weakness and high unemployment during the year, which had driven customers to reduce or optimise their spending on tariffs”.
However, Vodafone Spain added a net 89 000 customers, taking its subscriber base to 17,7m, as a result of “more competitive tariffs and a focus on improving the retention of higher-value customers”. It also grew revenue from its fixed-line business by 7,3%. Mobile data revenues increased by 18,4%.
Joosub was one of Vodacom’s early employees, joining the group in March 1994, the same year the operator launched its first commercial services in SA. He held a number of senior roles in Vodacom, including MD of the Vodacom Service Provider Company from 2000 to 2005.
In 2005, he was named MD of Vodacom SA. He was a director of Vodacom Group for 10 years before moving to Spain. — (c) 2012 NewsCentral Media