vodafone

Vodafone opted to cut its dividend by 40%, as the cost of the sale of its Indian arm and  the upcoming global 5G network roll-out weighed upon profits.

The telecommunications company reported a €7.6 billion (£6.6 billion) loss for the year to March-end.

Vodafone said this was primarily due to a loss on the disposal of Vodafone India following a deal with Idea Cellular.

The firm also said that increased competition in Spain and Italy as well as headwinds in South Africa dragged down profits.

Nick Read, Group Chief Executive, commented on the results:

“We are executing our strategy at pace and have achieved our guidance for the year, with good growth in most markets but also increased competition in Spain and Italy and headwinds in South Africa. These challenges weighed on our service revenue growth during the year, and together with high spectrum auction costs have reduced our financial headroom.

The Group is at a key point of transformation – deepening customer engagement, accelerating digital transformation, radically simplifying our operations, generating better returns from our infrastructure assets and continuing to optimise our portfolio. To support these goals and to rebuild headroom, the Board has made the decision to rebase the dividend, helping us to reduce debt and delever to the low end of our target range in the next few years.”

The company also confirmed July the 3rd for the launch of its 5G network in the UK.

Vodafone said it will rely upon equipment from Huawei to roll-out the service.

Notably, the chinese telecoms provider has been the subject of a government review amid security concerns.

Vodafone have said that seven UK cities will be part of the initial roll-out.

The cities that have been selected are Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool, London.

Shares in the FTSE 100 company (LON:VOD) are currently trading down -1.26% as of 12:54, on the back of the figures.