Vodafone drops into H1 net loss

LONDON: British mobile phone giant Vodafone said on Tuesday that it sank into a first-half loss and revenue dipped after one-off gains from asset sales were not repeated as it undergoes a vast overhaul.

Net losses totaled 346 million euros ($370 million) in the six months to the end of September, Vodafone said in a results statement.

That compared with profit after tax of 945 million euros in the same period a year earlier.

Revenues fell 4.3 percent to 21.9 billion euros, hit by adverse foreign exchange rate moves as well as the sale of Vantage Towers, Vodafone Hungary and Vodafone Ghana last time around. But services revenue grew 4.2 percent to 18.6 billion euros.

Vodafone added that its transformation plan was “progressing”, two weeks after it announced the sale of its Spanish division to investment fund Zegona for up to 5.0 billion euros.

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In a further streamlining, Vodafone in June agreed to merge British operations with Three UK, owned by Hong Kong-based CK Hutchison, to create Britain’s biggest operator with 27 million customers, as it targets an acceleration in faster 5G connectivity.

“During the first half of the year, we have delivered improved revenue growth in nearly all of our markets and have returned to growth in Germany in the second quarter,” said chief executive Margherita Della Valle.

“Vodafone’s transformation is progressing. Our focus on customers and simplifying our business is beginning to bear fruit, although much more needs to be done.

“We have also announced transactions to strengthen our position in the UK and exit the challenging Spanish market in order to right-size our portfolio for growth.”

Vodafone had announced six months ago that it would axe 11,000 jobs or more than ten percent of its global workforce to slash costs.

The operator said on Tuesday that it cut approximately 2,700 jobs in the first half, on its way towards the target.

The global tech sector has shed tens of thousands of jobs this year, including by Facebook parent Meta and UK telecoms group BT, as soaring inflation saps the economy.

The group added on Tuesday that it remains on course to meet annual earnings guidance.