By Najat Kantouar

 

Vodafone Group has reiterated its full-year guidance as it reported a much lower pretax profit for the first half of fiscal 2024, reflecting adverse foreign-exchange rate movements and business disposals in the prior year.

The U.K. telecommunications company said Tuesday that it expects to report underlying earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and lease expenses of 13.3 billion euros ($14.23 billion) for the year ending March 31 compared with EUR14.7 billion in fiscal 2023. Adjusted free cash is seen at around EUR3.3 billion, from EUR4.84 billion.

Pretax profit for the six months ended Sept. 30 was EUR550 million compared with EUR1.69 billion for the same period a year earlier.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and lease expenses--which strips out exceptional and other one-off items--was EUR6.39 billion compared with EUR7.24 billion with organic growth of 0.3% despite a significant increase in energy costs.

Adjusted free cash outflow widened to EUR1.47 billion from EUR513 million, reflecting a fall in adjusted Ebitda after leases in the period, together with lower dividends from associates and joint ventures.

Group revenue fell to EUR21.94 billion from EUR22.93 billion despite service revenue growth in both Europe, excluding Turkey, and Africa by 1.5% and 9.0%, respectively.

The board declared an interim dividend of 4.50 European cents for the period, flat on year.

"During the first half of the year, we have delivered improved revenue growth in nearly all of our markets and have returned to growth in Germany in the second quarter. We have also announced transactions to strengthen our position in the U.K. and exit the challenging Spanish market in order to right-size our portfolio for growth." Chief Executive Officer Margherita Della Valle said.

 

Write to Najat Kantouar at najat.kantouar@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 14, 2023 02:53 ET (07:53 GMT)

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