Shares in Vodafone (LON:VOD) have fallen deep into the red in London this morning as the blue-chip telco announced that its chief executive Vittorio Colao will step down later this year. The company separately updated investors on its full-year performance, posting a surge in profits.
As of 08:50 BST, Vodafone’s share price had given up 3.57 percent to 199.80p. The stock is pressuring the benchmark FTSE 100 index which currently stands 0.04 percent higher at 7,714.30 points.
Vodafone CEO to step down
Vodafone announced in a statement this morning that its chief executive Vittorio Colao will step down in October this year following a decade at the helm of the blue-chip telco. He will be succeeded by the group’s finance chief Nick Read, while deputy CFO Margherita Della Valle will take the top finance job. The telco credits Colao with transforming Vodafone “from a consumer-focused 2G/3G mobile operator to one of the world's leading converged communications companies”.
News of Colao’s departure comes after the group recently announced a €18.4-billion deal to buy Liberty Global’s operations in Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania.
Telco posts full-year results
In a separate statement, Vodafone updated investors on its full-year performance, posting a 15.4-percent rise in operating profit to €4.3 billion, while also disclosing a 2.2-percent fall in total revenue to €46.6 billion. The telco attributed the drop primarily to the deconsolidation of Vodafone Netherlands and currency movements.
The FTSE 100 group reported a 34-percent rise in free cash flow pre-spectrum to €5.4 billion and declared final dividend per share of 10.23 eurocents, marking a two-percent rise and taking total dividends per share for the year to 15.07 eurocents.
Vodafone further updated investors on its tie-up in India where the group’s local unit is merging with Idea Cellular, noting that the deal is expected to close next month.