Arab Today, arab today vodafone profit warning sends share price slumping
Last Updated : GMT 10:54:55
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Vodafone profit warning sends share price slumping

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Vodafone profit warning sends share price slumping

London - AFP

Vodafone earnings will drop this year, in part due to rising costs, the British mobile phone giant warned Tuesday as it slashed the value of its European operations. Vodafone's share price slumped after the group forecast that underlying earnings -- or profit before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) -- would fall to between £11.4 billion and £11.9 billion ($19.1 billion and $20 billion, 14 billion euros and 14.6 billion euros) in 2014/2015. That compared with Ebitda of £12.8 billion in 2013/2014, the company said in its annual results statement. Vodafone, which has struggled for years with maturing markets in Europe, also took a £6.6 billion charge against its assets in Germany, Spain, Portugal, Czech Republic and Romania. Revenues dipped 1.9 percent to £43.6 billion in 2013/14, hurt by the pressures in Europe. The grim news sent Vodafone's share price diving 5.92 percent to 204.29 pence on the British capital's FTSE 100 index, which was 0.57-percent lower at 6,805.58 points. Vodafone also revealed on Tuesday that annual net profits rocketed to £59.3 billion in the group's financial year to March 31 but only because of a huge one-off gain. The group had registered net profit of just £413 million in 2012/2013. However, profits for Vodafone's last financial year were skewed by the enormous sale of its stake in US joint-venture Verizon Wireless. The London-listed group agreed to sell its 45-percent holding in joint venture Verizon Wireless in 2013 to partner Verizon for $130 billion in a move to strengthen its strategy, boost infrastructure investment and slash debt. The deal generated a huge capital gain, and the company used part of the proceeds to return $85 billion to shareholders. Vodafone has also made a concerted push into the cable pay-television industry, amid broader consolidation in the global sector. The British mobiled phoine giant has made strategic acquisitions including the purchases of Kabel Deutschland (KDG), the largest cable operator in Germany, and Spanish cable firm Ono. "It has been a year of substantial strategic progress," said chief executive Vittorio Colao in the results statement. "The sale of our Verizon Wireless stake has rewarded shareholders for their support, and enabled the acceleration of our strategy through the acquisition of KDG, the pending acquisition of Ono and our Project Spring investment programme." Colao added that emerging markets continued to deliver strong results. "Our operational performance has been mixed," he admitted. "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," Colao said.

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