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Vodafone revenues hit as customers in Europe hang onto their cash

Verizon buy in the US saved it from posting even more dire results

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The end of Vodafone's financial year saw the company writing down £7.7bn in assets, leaving it with a profit of only £673m based on annual revenue which declined 4.4 per cent to £44.4bn.

The revenue drop was the largest ever for the telecommunications giant, it said.

The bright spot in the Vodafone numbers was again Verizon, which managed to contribute £6.4bn to revenue, but Vodafone shareholders won't be getting any of the £2.1bn dividend Verizon paid last week. Instead, Voda will use it for running costs and deploying all those 4G networks it has committed to building across Europe and elsewhere.

Those networks will cover 40 per cent of the bigger European markets by March 2015, with HSPA covering 80 per cent in the same timeframe. This is important given 54.8 per cent of Vodafone customers are now using smartphones on contracts, and therefore consuming a good deal more data.

Not that Europe is making much money for the company - revenue from Italy and Spain declined 12.8 and 11.5 per cent respectively. But despite all that Vodafone still did marginally better than analysts had expected, resulting in an improved shareholder dividend (up seven per cent). The share price remained flat. ®

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