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Vodafone cuts payout to shareholders

Vodafone has swung to a full year loss and cut its dividend to shareholders to help reduce its debts.

The reduction in the dividend to 9 euro cents a share from 15.07 cents contradicts a pledge in November by new chief executive Nick Read to maintain the payout.

The mobile phone giant pays one of the biggest dividends in the UK.

The €7.6bn (£6.6bn) loss was in part caused by the sale of Vodafone India. A year ago profits were €2.8bn.

Mr Read said the group was at a “key point of transformation”.

“We are executing our strategy at pace and have achieved our guidance for the year, with good growth in most markets but also increased competition in Spain and Italy and headwinds in South Africa.,” he said.

“These challenges weighed on our service revenue growth during the year, and together with high spectrum auction costs have reduced our financial headroom.”

He said the dividend was being “rebased” to allow further growth and cut back on debt

Source – BBC News