Vodafone’s future in India in doubt after latest setback

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Vodafone's future in India in doubt after latest setback

Chief Executive Nick Read said India, where Vodafone formed a joint venture with Idea Cellular in 2018, had been “a very challenging situation for a long time”, but it remained a sizable market where Vodafone had a 30% share.

Vodafone had asked the government for a relief package comprising a two-year moratorium on spectrum payments, lower license fee and taxes and waiving of interest and penalties on the Supreme Court case, which centred on regulatory fees.

Vodafone's future in India in doubt after latest setback

Read said Vodafone was not committing any more equity to India and the country effectively contributed zero value to the company’s share price.

Vodafone, the world’s second largest mobile operator, reported improving organic revenue growth as it saw signs of improvement in Spain and Italy and as it integrates its German cable acquisition.

It increased its forecast for adjusted core earnings to 14.8-15.0 billion euros from its previous forecast of 13.8-14.2 billion euros, but said India and lower cash flows following the sale of assets in New Zealand meant free cash flow would be “around” 5.4 billion euros, rather than “at least” 5.4 billion euros, as it previously forecast.

Read cut Vodafone’s dividend for the first time in May after tough market conditions and a need to invest in its networks and airwaves caused him to backtrack on his pledge not to reduce the payout.

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