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Vodafone share price surges even as telco trims dividend

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Shares in Vodafone (LON:VOD) have climbed higher in London this Tuesday, even as the blue-chip telco posted a full-year loss and trimmed its payout to shareholders. The news came after the company announced last night that it was selling its business in New Zealand.

As of 08:51 BST, Vodafone’s share price had added 2.44 percent to 135.00p. The shares are outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.75 percent higher at 7,217.14 points.

Vodafone posts FY results

Vodafone announced in a statement this morning that its revenue for the financial year ended March 31 had fallen 6.2 percent to €43.7 billion. The company further posted a loss of €7.6 billion, primarily due to a loss on the disposal of the telco’s business in India following the merger of the unit with local provider Idea Cellular, as well as impairments. The telecoms group trimmed its dividend per share to 9.00 eurocents, compared to 15.07 eurocents in FY18, implying 15.07 eurocents in FY18, while pledging progressive future dividend policy.

“We are executing our strategy at pace and have achieved our guidance for the year, with good growth in most markets but also increased competition in Spain and Italy and headwinds in South Africa,” Vodafone’s chief executive Nick Read commented in the statement, adding that these challenges had weighed on the telco’s “service revenue growth during the year, and together with high spectrum auction costs have reduced our financial headroom”.

Group sells NZ business

Today’s update comes after Vodafone announced yesterday that it had sold its business in New Zealand to a consortium comprising Infratil Limited and Brookfield Asset Management for NZ$3.4 billion (€2.1 billion).

“This move is consistent with (Vodafone’s) strategy to exit assets in this part of the world and their pursuit of the TPG merger,” Credit Suisse analysts told clients in a note, as quoted by Reuters.

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