Friday 24 May 2019

Vodafone Ireland revenue up, but group makes loss

Good results: Vodafone Ireland CEO Anne O’Leary said that, including innovation, it had been ‘a very positive year for Vodafone Ireland’
Good results: Vodafone Ireland CEO Anne O’Leary said that, including innovation, it had been ‘a very positive year for Vodafone Ireland’
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Mobile phone giant Vodafone has swung to a €7.6bn bottom line annual loss and slashed its shareholder dividend payout.

The group's losses for the year to March 31 come against profits of £2.8bn (€3.2bn) a year earlier and after it wrote down the value of some of its assets and took a hit on the sale of Vodafone India.

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Meanwhile, Vodafone Group announced its final dividend has been cut to nine cents a share, down from 15 cents a share the previous year.

In Ireland, the company's service revenue grew 1.3pc year-on-year to €240.6m, driven, in part, by contract mobile base growth.

Vodafone Ireland grew its mobile customer base by 0.1pc over the year, with 8,000 contract customers added over the period.

"This has been a very positive year for Vodafone Ireland, not only in terms of our strong performance over the year, but also in terms of our innovation leadership," said Vodafone Ireland CEO Anne O'Leary.

"During the year we launched Ireland's first live 5G commercial network in the Dublin Docklands that will see a step-change for businesses and communities in Ireland.

"In addition, we have introduced a number of mobile innovations - including the launch of 4G Calling (VoLTE) and Wi-Fi calling, as we look to deliver an enhanced experience to our customers," Ms O'Leary added.

Vodafone Group saw group annual revenues fall 6.2pc to €43.7bn.

Underlying earnings lifted 3.1pc on an organic basis to €14.1bn and Vodafone said it was set for "low single-digit" growth over 2019-20.

Vodafone group CEO Nick Read said: "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 and Italy and headwinds in South Africa.

"These challenges weighed on our service revenue growth during the year, and together with high spectrum auction costs have reduced our financial headroom.

"The group is at a key point of transformation - deepening customer engagement, accelerating digital transformation, radically simplifying our operations, generating better returns from our infrastructure assets and continuing to optimise our portfolio.

"To support these goals and to rebuild headroom, the board has made the decision to rebase the dividend, helping us to reduce debt and deliver to the low end of our target range in the next few years."

Additional reporting PA

Irish Independent

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