British mobile telecoms organization has released figures that include huge losses, largely due to a merger with India's Idea Cellular. Vodafone's rivals in Italy and Spain were also cited as reasons for the losses.
Vodafone on Tuesday announced losses of €7.6 billion ($8.5 billion), causing the British mobile operator to slash its shareholder dividend in an effort to reduce debt.
The telecoms giant announced the losses in the 2018/19 financial year were in relation to the sale of Indian assets due to the merger with Idea Cellular. "The loss for the financial year... was primarily due to a loss on disposal of Vodafone India and impairments."
The venture with Idea Cellular in August 2018 enabled it to become India's largest mobile telecoms organization.
Despite the financial turmoil, chief executive Nick Read was keen to stress there was no need to panic. "We are executing our strategy at pace and have achieved our guidance for the year, with good growth in most markets."
Vodafone's rivals in Italy and Spain were also cited as reasons for the losses.
"These challenges weighed on our service revenue growth during the year, and together with high spectrum auction costs have reduced our financial headroom."
As a response, the Vodafone board has significantly lowered its shareholder dividend from 15 cents to 9 cents per share in order "to support these goals and to rebuild headroom," Read confirmed.
JSi/rc (AFP, Reuters)