Vodafone cuts dividend after $8.5 billion net loss

LONDON: British telecoms giant Vodafone announced on Tuesday that it recorded a vast annual net loss of $8.5 billion, hit partly by the sale of its Indian assets.
The loss after tax in the 2018/2019 financial year to the end of March contrasted with profit of just under 2.8 billion euros last time around, Vodafone said in a results statement.
Europe’s biggest mobile phone company also slashed its shareholder dividend to lower debt, simplify activities and increase investment as part of its ongoing transformation strategy.
“The loss for the financial year of 7.6 billion euros was primarily due to a loss on disposal of Vodafone India (following the completion of the merger with Idea Cellular) and impairments,” Vodafone said.
Net losses including non-controlling interests hit just over eight billion euros. That compared with a profit of 2.4 billion euros a year earlier.
The poor performance was sparked partly by a 3.4-billion-euro loss from the sale of Indian operations.
The London-listed firm also took a 3.5-billion-euro writedown on the shrinking value of its activities in India, Spain and Romania. Revenue meanwhile slid 6.2 per cent to 43.7 billion euros, hit also by competitive pressures.
“We are executing our strategy at pace and have achieved our guidance for the year, with good growth in most markets but also increased competition in Spain, Italy and South Africa,” said CEO Nick Read. —AFP