Vodafone doubles dividend despite ongoing Japanese woes

24 May 2005

Vodafone Group has doubled its dividend after its fiscal full year revenues and EBITDA topped average market forecasts. For the year to March 2005 turnover climbed 2% to GBP34.1 billion (USD63.1 billion), EBITDA rose 3% to GBP13 billion, while net income came in at a loss of GBP7.5 billion. Vodafone consolidated its position as the world’s largest mobile phone holding company in terms of revenues and customers, after its proportional subscriber base grew by 16.3 million users, reaching 154.8 million spread across 26 countries. Commenting on the results, supremo Arun Sarin pointed to impressive growth in the United States and Spain – both saw revenue surges of more than 20% – while stating that businesses in Italy, Germany and Spain ‘performed well’ despite the highly competitive nature of their markets. However, Sarin went on to express disappointment with the performance of Vodafone KK – Japan’s third largest wireless operator by subscribers – after revenue, EBITDA and monthly average ARPU all fell (9%, 12% and 9% respectively), and the subscriber base inched up by only 1% as market share slipped from 18.4% at March 2004 to 17.3% at March 2005. Despite speculation in some quarters that Vodafone would seek to exit Japan, Sarin said the Newbury-based company remained committed to improving its competitive position in the country.

United Kingdom, Vodafone Group