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Vodafone reports $10.8 billion full-year loss, hikes dividend news
29 May 2007

Mumbai: Vodafone Group Plc reported a full-year loss of 5.43 billion pounds ($10.8 billion) because of a regulatory change in Italy and increased sales on emerging-market growth.

Vodafone said fiscal 2008 sales will rise as much as 10 per cent to 34.2 billion pounds and the company raised its dividend.

The Newbury, England-based company had a record loss of 21.9 billion pounds in the previous year.

Vodafone bought a controlling stake in India''s Hutchison Essar Ltd. this month for $10.7 billion to make up for a slowdown in Europe.

Earnings in Europe were hurt by a 3.5 billion-pound charge in Italy after the government abolished fees for recharging prepaid cards, Vodafone said in a statement.

Vodafone forecast annual sales will rise to 33.3 billion pounds to 34.2 billion pounds.

Full-year sales rose 6 per cent to 31.1 billion pounds. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization rose 1.6 per cent to 11.96 billion pounds.

Vodafone increased its full-year dividend by 11 per cent to 6.76 pence.

Ebitda at Vodafone''s European business fell 4.6 per cent to 9.33 billion pounds from 9.79 billion pounds as a drop in results in Germany, the UK and Italy dragged on gains in Spain.

Vodafone said its European markets will be ``challenging'''' in fiscal 2008 and growth prospects at its emerging market business ``remain strong'''' because of the potential for subscriber gains and the company''s Hutchison Essar purchase.

Ebitda at Vodafone''s emerging markets business jumped 37 per cent to 2.04 billion pounds from 1.49 billion pounds.

In the last year, Vodafone saw a ``reshaping'''' of its portfolio with acquisitions in Turkey and India.

Vodafone completed the purchase of a 67 per cent stake in India''s Hutchison Essar, the country''s fourth-biggest wireless company, for about $10.7 billion this month. Vodafone also bought Turkey''s Telsim Mobil Telekomunikasyon Hizmetleri AS for $4.55 billion last year.

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Vodafone reports $10.8 billion full-year loss, hikes dividend