TOP NEWS: Vodafone Boosts Guidance But Chops Interim Dividend

(Alliance News) - Vodafone Group PLC on Tuesday raised its full-year guidance and narrowed its ...

Alliance News 12 November, 2019 | 8:01AM
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(Alliance News) - Vodafone Group PLC on Tuesday raised its full-year guidance and narrowed its first half loss, helped by the sale of its New Zealand subsidiary.

The telecommunications giant completed the disposal of its New Zealand unit in July, for EUR2.0 billion to a consortium featuring investment firm Infratil Ltd and Canadian alternative asset manager Brookfield Asset Management Inc.

In the six months to September 30, revenue edged 0.4% higher year-on-year to EUR21.94 billion from EUR21.85 billion. The FTSE 100 firm registered a pretax loss of EUR511 million, slimmed from EUR2.85 billion last year.

Vodafone explained: "Group revenue increased by 0.4% to EUR21.9 billion, primarily reflecting a return to growth in our underlying business and the contribution from the acquired Liberty Global PLC assets for two months, partly offset by the disposal of Vodafone New Zealand."

In July, Vodafone completed a deal to acquire Liberty Global's operations in Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania for an enterprise value of EUR18.4 billion.

Weighing on earnings however were "adjusted other expenses", which totalled EUR872 million, soaring from EUR256 million last year.

These were primarily due to a Supreme Court ruling in India related to Vodafone Idea Ltd, a subsidiary. The Indian government has been locked in a dispute with telecommunications firms for "over a decade", Vodafone said, concerning licence provisions payable by operators in the country.

First half adjusted earnings before interest, depreciation and amortisation rose 2.7% year-on-year to EUR7.11 billion from EUR6.92 billion.

Vodafone now expects full-year adjusted Ebitda in a range of EUR14.8 billion to EUR15.0 billion, up from previous guidance of between EUR13.8 billion and EUR14.2 billion.

The company said this was due to a EUR800 million net benefit from the Liberty Global acquisition.

Chief Executive Nick Read said: "I am pleased by the speed at which we are executing on the strategic priorities that we announced this time last year. This is reflected in our return to top-line growth in the second quarter, which we expect to build upon in the second half of the year in both Europe and Africa."

The company cut its interim dividend by 7.0% to 4.50 cents from 4.84 cents last year.

Earlier this year, the company made the decision to rebase its dividend and paid out 9.00 cents for the 2019 financial year, down 40% on the year before that.

By Eric Cunha;

Copyright 2019 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security Name Price Change (%) Morningstar
Vodafone Group PLC 148.84 GBX -1.22

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