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VODAFONE - Full year results 2018

Chief Executive Vittorio Colao will step down in October after 10 years in which the Italian reshaped the world’s second largest mobile operator into a digital communications powerhouse with a string of major deals. LONDON (Reuters)


Vodafone announces results for the year ended 31 March 2018
15 May 2018

Highlights

• Group operating profit up 15.4% to €4.3 billion; profit for the year of €2.8 billion; total revenue down 2.2% to €46.6 billion, primarily due to the deconsolidation of Vodafone Netherlands and FX movements

• Substantial strategic progress: NGN partnerships in Italy/UK, Liberty Global transaction in Germany/CEE

• Organic service revenue up 1.6%** and Q4 up 1.4%**, with good momentum in data, fixed/convergence and Enterprise

• Strong growth in organic adjusted EBITDA, up 11.8%* to €14.7 billion and exceeding guidance for ‘around 10%’ organic growth; growth was 7.9%* excluding roaming, settlements and UK handset financing

• Free cash flow pre-spectrum improved by 34% to €5.4 billion, delivering guidance

• Vodafone India service revenue down 18.7%*, EBITDA down 34.5%*;merger with Idea Cellular expected to close in June

• Final dividend per share of 10.23 eurocents, up 2.0%, giving total dividends per share for the year of 15.07 eurocents

• 2019 financial guidance: organic adjusted EBITDA growth (excluding settlements and UK handset financing) of 1 - 5%; FCF pre-spectrum of at least €5.2 billion (including €0.2 billion of cash investment in the Gigabit Plan)

Vittorio Colao, Group Chief Executive, commented:

“This was a year of significant operational and strategic achievement and strong financial performance. Our sustained investment in network quality supported robust commercial momentum: we added a record number of fixed NGN and converged customers in Q4, mobile data usage continues to grow strongly and we grew both revenues and margins in Enterprise, despite roaming headwinds, and continued to reduce operating costs. As a result, underlying EBITDA grew 7.9%. We have made good progress in securing approvals for the merger with Idea Cellular in India – which is expected to close imminently – and appointed the new management team, who will focus immediately on capturing the sizeable cost synergies. In addition, we agreed the merger of Indus Towers and Bharti Infratel, allowing Vodafone to own a significant cocontrolling stake in India’s largest listed tower company. And we announced last week the acquisition of Liberty Global’s cable assets in Germany and Central and Eastern Europe, transforming the Group into Europe’s leading next generation network owner and a truly converged challenger to dominant incumbents.

We expect to sustain our profit growth in the year ahead, despite the arrival of a new entrant in Italy and competitive pressure in Spain, supported by the third year in a row of lower net operating costs. Our primary focus continues to be to accelerate the ‘Digital Vodafone’ programme, which we believe is a unique opportunity to enhance our customers’ experience, generate incremental value and improve cost efficiency.

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COMMENTS

IRISH TIMES: Vodafone records slip in service revenues to €949m
https://www.irishtimes.com/business/technology/vodafone-records-slip-in-service-revenues-to-949m-1.3496026

BUSINESS LIVE: End of an era as Vodafone boss Vittorio Colao hands over to protégé
https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/companies/telecoms-and-technology/2018-05-15-end-of-an-era-as-vodafone-boss-vittorio-colao-hands-over-to-protg/

BLOOMBERG

Deutsche Telekom CEO Tim Hoettges says Vodafone's purchase of Liberty Global's German and Eastern European units is "unacceptable." He speaks with Bloomberg's Matt Miller on "Bloomberg Surveillance," in an exclusive interview in Bonn, Germany.


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