Monday, 29 May 2017

Vodafone full year loss widens on €3.7bn India writedown

By Nick Wood, Total Telecom
Tuesday 16 May 17

Despite fall in revenue, shares rise on U.K.-based telco's bullish guidance.

Vodafone on Tuesday reported a wider full year loss due to a €3.7 billion writedown of its Indian business, but shares rose driven by its upbeat guidance. The U.K.-based telco's loss for the year came in at €6.08 billion, compared to &euro…

Vodafone on Tuesday reported a wider full year loss due to a €3.7 billion writedown of its Indian business, but shares rose driven by its upbeat guidance.

The U.K.-based telco's loss for the year came in at €6.08 billion, compared to €5.12 billion in the previous year.

The ongoing price war in India, sparked by the launch of free mobile services by Reliance Jio Infocomm, took its toll on Vodafone.

In November, it took a €5 billion writedown on the value of Vodafone India. However, it has now been revised to €3.7 billion after Vodafone agreed to form a joint venture with rival player Idea Cellular.

Full year revenue at Vodafone India, which is now classified as discontinued operations on Vodafone's balance sheet, fell to €5.85 billion from €6.16 billion a year ago, driven by what the company called "heightened competitive pressure following free services offered by the new entrant during the second half of the year."

Adjusted EBITDA fell 12.1% year-on-year to €1.60 billion.

Vodafone's European operation saw revenue fall 5.2% year-on-year to €34.55 billion, as declines in the U.K. and other European markets offset gains in Italy, Germany and Spain. Adjusted EBITDA was down 1.9% to €10.28 billion.

Meanwhile, in Africa, the Middle East and Asia Pacific – excluding India, of course – revenue was down 1% to €11.77 billion, while adjusted EBITDA improved by 4% to €3.85 billion.

Despite its challenging year, Vodafone provided a bullish outlook for the year ahead.

The company expects organic adjusted EBITDA to grow by 4%-8%, implying a range of €14.0 billion-€14.5 billion. Free cash flow (FCF) is expected to come in at around €5.0 billion, up from €4.3 billion.

At the time of writing, Vodafone's shares were up by almost 4%.

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