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Vodafone takes £28bn hit

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Vodafone expects to reduce the value of its assets by between £23bn and £28bn, it said, as its nears completion of its budget for next year.

Announcing the massive hit, the mobile phone giant said: "Vodafone now expects the outcome of this review of the carrying value of its assets will be a material impairment in the carrying value of goodwill in the range of £23bn to £28bn, reflecting a lower view of growth prospects, particularly in the medium to long term, than those it had used previously."

This, it said, was "against a backdrop of intensifying competition and pricing pressures in several of its key markets". Indeed, this increased competition has prompted Vodafone to lower its growth predictions for the next year, warning that EBITDA (earnings before interest etc) looks set to fall.

In a statement issued to the stock exchange, the firm said it expects mobile revenue growth will be slower than expected - in the range of five per cent to 6.5 per cent - thanks to increasing competition and regulatory reductions in termination rates.

By late this morning, shares in Vodafone had recovered after early falls but were still down 3.25p (2.78 per cent) at 113.75p. ®

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