Sluggish business in crisis-stricken southern Europe has hit British mobile phone giant Vodafone. The company's full-year earnings plummeted, but shareholder dividends were unaffected.
Vodafone announced Tuesday its annual net profit declined by 90 percent in its financial year to the end of March 2013.
The British mobile phone giant said the result came in the wake of a huge impairment charge as a result of weak business particularly in debt-laden eurozone nations Italy and Spain.
Earnings after taxation nosedived to 673 million pounds (796 million euros, $1.03 billion), while the group's revenues dipped by 4.2 percent to 44.4 billion pounds.
Despite the problems at hand, Vodafone's shareholder dividend stood at 10.19 pence per share, up seven percent from the previous year. "The board remains focused on balancing shareholder remuneration with the long-term investment needs of the business," Colao commented.
Vodafone recently entered a strategic alliance with Germany's Deutsche Telekom. The British company aims to make wider use of Telekom's high-speed Internet infrastructure.
hg/ccp (AFP, Reuters)