Vodafone posts £8.6bn annual profit

VODAFONE has reported an annual pre-tax profit of £8.6bn.

The figure has jumped from £3.1bn last year, while sales rose to £44.5bn from £41bn.

However, the telecommunications giant took a hit on its key Indian business with a £2bn impairment charge attached to buying new licences.

Vodafone, which has 341m subscribers, was upbeat about the figures, which were broadly in line with analysts' forecasts.

Chief Executive Vittorio Colao said: “Vodafone's financial results exceeded our upgraded guidance on all measures.

“We are creating a stronger Vodafone, which is positioned to return to revenue growth during the 2011 financial year, as economic recovery should benefit our key markets."

For the outlook for 2010/11, it said it would target a three-year dividend per share growth of seven per cent per year.