Vodafone drops to loss

 
City A.M. Reporter
Telecoms company Vodafone slumped to a pre-tax loss of £492m over the six months to September, as it was forced to write down the value of its business in Spain and Italy by £5.9bn.

It was hit by customers in Southern Europe making fewer phone calls. Over the second quarter, group organic revenue fell 1.4 per cent due to a sharp slowdown in its Southern European business.

The firm also lowered expectations for free cash flow, forecasting the full-year figure to be in the lower half of the guidance range.

However, Vodafone was boosted by strong performance at its Verizon Wireless joint venture in the US, and said it expected a £2.4bn dividend would be due by the end of the year.

Group chief executive Vittorio Colao said this morning: “We have continued to make progress on our strategic priorities over the last six months, with good growth in data and emerging markets in particular.

"In the short-term, however, our results reflect tougher market conditions, mainly in Southern Europe.”