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Mobo monster Vodafone takes £6bn kick down south

Spaniards, Italians just not as talkative these days

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Vodafone lost almost half-a-billion quid in the six months to November, its half-year results reveal, but it also had to write down £6bn from the value of its operations in southern Europe.

The US is doing OK, and Vodafone will get a dividend payment from Verizon Communications (of which it owns 45 per cent) of £2.4bn, but revenue across southern Europe fell by 17.5 per cent, in part because of the declining euro but also because Europeans, southern Europeans in particular, have less money to spend on phone calls these days.

Despite the loss before tax of £492m, Vodafone still managed an adjusted (EBITDA) profit figure of £6.6bn, on a revenue of 21.78bn, which is down more than 7 per cent on last year.

Vodafone will spend part of that Verizon dividend buying back its own shares, which will be cheaper this morning, having fallen 3.3 per cent on the back of the disappointing results.

Operations in Turkey and India are doing OK, with revenues there increasing by 18 and 11 per cent respectively, and data revenue is also up. However in Europe, 45.5 per cent of revenue is now coming from tariffs, the rest being slurped from out-of-tariff communications as well as all the other things that Vodafone sells these days.

In the UK, revenue was down just over 2 per cent, which Vodafone blames on increased competition including "significant pressure resulting from competitors introducing a number of new unlimited tariffs during Q4 of the 2012 financial year", though it also reckons the new "Vodafone Red" tariff will redress that.

Full details in the half-year financials (PDF, more boring than they sound). ®

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