Vodafone ahead of expectations but warns of inflation hit

The business said inflation is “likely to impact our financial performance”.

Shares in Vodafone dropped slightly on Tuesday morning (PA)
Shares in Vodafone dropped slightly on Tuesday morning (PA)

Vodafone slightly beat analyst expectations as it reported its annual results days after gaining a major investor from the Middle East.

The business said its revenue totalled 45.6 billion euros (£38.4 billion) over the year to the end of March. Experts had expected it to reach 45.4 billion euros (£38.2 billion).

It was down to growth in Europe and Africa, the business told shareholders on Tuesday.

“We delivered a good financial performance in the year with growth in revenues, profits and cash flows, in line with our medium-term financial ambitions,” chief executive Nick Read said.

Pre-tax profit rose from 4 billion euros (£3.37 billion) to 4.4 billion (£3.7 billion.

Vodafone’s results are pretty solid, showing good financial progress over the year

Richard Flood, Brewin Dolphin

But worse is to come for the telecoms giant, which warned of a hit during the current financial year, not least because of soaring inflation.

“The current macroeconomic climate presents specific challenges, particularly inflation, and is likely to impact our financial performance in the year ahead,” the business said.

Mr Read added: “Whilst we are not immune to the macroeconomic challenges in Europe and Africa, we are positioned well to manage them and we expect to deliver a resilient financial performance in the year ahead.

“Our near-term operational and portfolio priorities remain unchanged from those communicated six months ago.

“We are focused on improving the commercial performance in Germany, actively pursuing opportunities with Vantage Towers and strengthening our market positions in Europe.”

By one measure – EBITDAaL (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and leases) – Vodafone expects earnings to hit between 15 billion euros (£12.6 billion) and 15.5 billion (£13 billion) during this financial year.

Last year the number hit 15.2 billion (£12.8 billion).

Richard Flood, investment manager at Brewin Dolphin, said: “Vodafone’s results are pretty solid, showing good financial progress over the year.

“With strong inflation around the world, it remains to be seen if the company can pass on the growing headwinds of energy and labour cost increases as consumer sentiment weakens, and whether its profit margins will come under pressure.”

Shares dipped 1.5% after markets opened in London.

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