Vodafone annual net tumbles 90 per cent

Vodafone’s shares price soared more than three per cent in afternoon London trade, as investors focused on a return to growth in biggest market Germany

(File photo) The logo of Vodafone at a Vodafone store in Northwich, Cheshire, Britain, June 7, 2023. REUTERS/Jason Cairnduff

By:
Shajil Kumar

UK mobile phone giant Vodafone reported a drop in annual profit on Tuesday but shares leapt as the group’s ongoing overhaul takes shape.

Net profit tumbled 90 per cent to € 1.14 billion (£980 million) in the financial year to the end of March, Vodafone said in a results statement.

That compared with €11.8bn (£10.14bn) in 2022/2023, when the group’s performance ballooned with the disposals of European mast division Vantage Towers as well as operations in Ghana and Hungary.

Total revenues retreated 2.5 per cent to €36.7bn (£31.55bn).

“A year ago, I set out my plans to transform Vodafone, including the need to right-size Europe for growth,” said chief executive Margherita Della Valle.

“Since then, we have announced a series of transactions and we are now delivering growth in all of our markets across Europe and Africa.”

Vodafone’s shares price soared more than three per cent in afternoon London trade, as investors focused particularly on a return to growth in biggest market Germany.

“The transformation is starting to take shape, but before getting too excited, markets will need to see sustained top-line growth over the coming year and a tighter grip on costs,” cautioned Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Matt Britzman.

Della Valle continued her major reshaping of Vodafone’s European operations this year, selling its Italian unit in March to Swisscom for €8bn (£6.88bn).

And she announced late last year the sale of its Spanish division to investment fund Zegona for up to €5bn (£4.30bn).

That followed her decision to axe 11,000 jobs, or more than 10 per cent of the company’s global workforce, to slash costs.

Meanwhile, in April this year, Britain’s competition regulator deepened its probe into Vodafone’s planned merger of British mobile phone operations with those of Three UK, owned by Hong Kong-based CK Hutchison, citing concerns over higher prices. (AFP)