Vodafone swings into €7.6bn loss
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.
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.
Meanwhile Vodafone Group announced its final dividend has been cut to 9 cents a share, down from 15 cents a share the previous year.
Vodafone Group saw group annual revenues fall 6.2pc to €43.7bn.
Underlying earnings lifted 3.1pc on an organic basis to €14.1bn euro and Vodafone said it was set for "low single digit" growth over 2019-20.
Nick Read, group chief executive of Vodafone, 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."