Vodafone Rebounds Into First-Half Net Profit

British telecommunications giant Vodafone announced Monday that it rebounded back into profit in the first half of its financial year in a “resilient” performance as it shrugged off the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

Profit after tax hit 1.3 billion euros ($1.5 billion) for the six months to September, the mobile phone giant said in a results statement.

That followed a net loss of 2.1 billion euros in the same period a year earlier, which came after India’s Supreme Court ordered telecoms companies to pay long-standing bills for past spectrum and licensing fees.

Vodafone said revenues slid 2.3 percent to 21.4 billion euros in the reporting period, as the pandemic slashed international travel and roaming income and weighed also on handset demand.

“Today’s results underline increased confidence in our full-year outlook,” said chief executive Nick Read.

“We are reporting a resilient first-half performance and we continue to see good commercial momentum across the group.

“The results demonstrate the success of our strategic priorities to date, namely increasing customer loyalty, growing our fixed broadband base, driving digitisation to simplify the company and capture significant cost savings, and deliver 5G efficiently through network sharing.”

He added however that the deadly coronavirus pandemic was “obscuring” the group’s performance.

“Covid-19 and the reduction in roaming revenues, through the significant reduction in international travel, is currently obscuring our underlying commercial progress,” Read said.

“Now, more than ever, the connectivity services we provide are critical for society and the demand is growing for our services.

Deborah Adegoke

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