Growth at Vodafone slows in the first half
Nov 11, 2012 (Financial Mail on Sunday - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
VODAFONE, Britain's biggest mobile phone company, is set to announce a fall in sales growth when it unveils results for the half-year to September, but will promise good news from its American operation.
Investors will on Tuesday look for guidance from chief executive Vittorio Colao on the scale of the expected dividend from its Verizon Wireless joint venture, which it owns with US firm Verizon Communications.
This will be announced on December 12 and is likely to be $6.5 billion (pounds sterling 4.3 billion) and could lead to a new share buy-back programme. A further exceptional dividend is unlikely.
Vodafone has been hit by the economic slowdown in Europe and emerging markets such as India, where subscriber growth is slowing significantly though price rises are helping.
Interim profits are likely to have fallen to pounds sterling 6.6 billion from pounds sterling 7.5 billion last year. Growth in Britain is likely to have slowed by 1.5 per cent in the second quarter.
In Germany, where the company performed well, the cut in mobile termination rates -- the charges levied by phone companies on subscribers for calls to other networks -- has also affected Vodafone's revenues. The same factor was also significant in Italy, where the weak market has seen subscribers move to cheaper deals.
The City reckons Colao will report sales growth moved from 0.6 per cent in the first quarter against the same time last year to a 0.7 per cent fall in the second.
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