Vodafone rebounds into first-half net profit

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Vodafone

MNA Science & Tech Desk: British mobile phone giant Vodafone rebounded back into first-half net profit, it said Tuesday, after the previous year’s performance was skewed by a vast Indian writedown.

Earnings after taxation hit 1.131 billion euros ($1.318 billion) in the six months to the end of September, it revealed in a results statement.

“We are able to report a strong financial performance, with substantial … profit growth, and we are raising our financial outlook for the year,” said chief executive Vittorio Colao.

Vodafone had suffered a spectacular net loss of 5.129 billion euros in the same part of last year, when it was plagued by an enormous writedown on the value of its Indian business.

Operating profit jumped almost a third to 2.0 billion euros in the first half of 2017, boosted by falling costs and lower taxation.

Total sales however sagged 4.1 per cent to 23.1 billion euros, due partly to the deconsolidation of its Dutch unit Vodafone Netherlands.

Sales were also impacted by the weak pound, which tumbled following last year’s shock EU exit referendum.

In India, Vodafone reported progress but admitted that competition remains fierce. The London-listed group agreed in March to merge its Vodafone India division with Idea Cellular in order to create India’s largest telecoms operator and fight ultra-competitive new player Reliance Jio.