Vodafone earnings tumble after ‘mixed’ performance

Mobile phone operator Vodafone today said its annual operating profits had fallen by more than a third following continued tough trading in southern Europe.

The group posted a profit of £7.9 billion for the year to 31 March, down from £12.6bn a year earlier, on revenues 1.9 per cent lower at £43.6bn.

However, chief executive Vittorio Colao said Vodafone had made “substantial strategic progress” during the year, with the sale of its stake in Verizon Wireless and the acquisition of Kabel Deutschland.

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He added: “Our operational performance has been mixed. The group’s emerging markets businesses have performed strongly throughout the year – we have executed our strategy well and have successfully positioned ourselves for the rapid growth in data we are now witnessing.

“In Europe, where we continue to face competitive, regulatory and macroeconomic pressures, we have taken steps to improve our commercial performance, particularly in Germany and Italy, and are beginning to see encouraging early signs.”

Vodafone’s board recommended an 8 per cent rise in the final dividend to 7.47p a share, payable on 6 August.