Vodafone Says First Half Loss Doubled on India Woes
British mobile phone giant Vodafone on Tuesday said its first-half net loss doubled to more than EUR 5 billion owing to a huge writedown for its Indian unit.
Vodafone said its loss after tax soared to EUR 5.1 billion ($5.5 billion or roughly Rs. 37,229 crores) in the six months to September 30 compared with a net loss of EUR 2.5 billion one year earlier.
Vodafone said it was hit by an impairment charge of EUR 6.4 billion (roughly Rs. 46,716 crores) “in respect of the group’s investment in India”.
“Competition in India has increased in the year, reducing revenue growth and profitability,” Vodafone chief executive Vittorio Colao said in the results statement.
“We have responded to this changing competitive environment by strengthening our data and voice commercial offers and by focusing our participation in the recent spectrum auction on acquiring frequencies in the more successful and profitable areas of the country,” he added.
Stripping out the exceptional hit from India as well as interest payments, Vodafone posted pre-tax profit of EUR 7.9 billion for the first half, a drop of 1.7 percent compared with one year earlier.
Vodafone’s share price was up 1.6 percent at 207.9 pence in early deals on London’s rising FTSE 100 index.