Highlights

  • Group operating profit up 15.4% to €4.3 billion; profit for the year of €2.8 billion; total revenue down 2.2% to €46.6 billion, primarily due to the deconsolidation of Vodafone Netherlands and FX movements
  • Substantial strategic progress: NGN partnerships in Italy/UK, Liberty Global transaction in Germany/CEE
  • Organic service revenue up 1.6%** and Q4 up 1.4%**, with good momentum in data, fixed/convergence and Enterprise
  • Strong growth in organic adjusted EBITDA, up 11.8%* to €14.7 billion and exceeding guidance for ‘around 10%’ organic growth; growth was 7.9%* excluding roaming, settlements and UK handset financing
  • Free cash flow pre-spectrum improved by 34% to €5.4 billion, delivering guidance
  • Vodafone India service revenue down 18.7%*, EBITDA down 34.5%*; merger with Idea Cellular expected to close in June
  • Final dividend per share of 10.23 eurocents, up 2.0%, giving total dividends per share for the year of 15.07 eurocents
  • 2019 financial guidance: organic adjusted EBITDA growth (excluding settlements and UK handset financing) of 1 - 5%; FCF pre-spectrum of at least €5.2 billion (including €0.2 billion of cash investment in the Gigabit Plan)
Year ended 31 March 2018

 

Growth
Page 2018
€m
2017
€m
Reported
%
Organic*
%
Group revenue 27 46,571 47,631 (2.2)
Operating profit 27 4,299 3,725 +15.4
Profit/(loss) for the financial year1 27 2,788 (6,079) NM
Basic earnings/(loss) per share1 27 8.78c (22.51c) NM
Total dividends per share 31 15.07c 14.77c +2.0
Net debt 20 (31,469) (31,169) +1.0
Alternative performance measures2
Group service revenue 7 41,066 42,987 (4.5) +1.6**
Adjusted EBITDA 7 14,737 14,149 +4.2 +11.8
Adjusted EBIT 7 4,827 3,970 +21.6 +47.2
Adjusted earnings per share 18 11.59c 8.04c +44.2
Free cash flow pre-spectrum 19 5,417 4,056 +33.6
Free cash flow3 19 4,044 3,316 +22.0

Vittorio Colao, Group Chief Executive, commented:

“This was a year of significant operational and strategic achievement and strong financial performance. Our sustained investment in network quality supported robust commercial momentum: we added a record number of fixed NGN and converged customers in Q4, mobile data usage continues to grow strongly and we grew both revenues and margins in Enterprise, despite roaming headwinds, and continued to reduce operating costs. As a result, underlying EBITDA grew 7.9%.

We have made good progress in securing approvals for the merger with Idea Cellular in India – which is expected to close imminently – and appointed the new management team, who will focus immediately on capturing the sizeable cost synergies. In addition, we agreed the merger of Indus Towers and Bharti Infratel, allowing Vodafone to own a significant co-controlling stake in India’s largest listed tower company. And we announced last week the acquisition of Liberty Global’s cable assets in Germany and Central and Eastern Europe, transforming the Group into Europe’s leading next generation network owner and a truly converged challenger to dominant incumbents.

We expect to sustain our profit growth in the year ahead, despite the arrival of a new entrant in Italy and competitive pressure in Spain, supported by the third year in a row of lower net operating costs. Our primary focus continues to be to accelerate the ‘Digital Vodafone’ programme, which we believe is a unique opportunity to enhance our customers’ experience, generate incremental value and improve cost efficiency.”

For further information:

Investor Relations
Telephone: +44 7919 990230

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Notes:

*    All amounts in this document marked with an “*” represent organic growth which presents performance on a comparable basis, both in terms of merger and acquisition activity and movements in foreign exchange rates. “Change at constant exchange rates” presents performance on a comparable basis in terms of foreign exchange rates only. Organic growth and change at constant exchange rates are alternative performance measures. See “Alternative performance measures” on page 34 for further details and reconciliations to the respective closest equivalent GAAP measures.

**  Also excludes the impact of the legal settlement in Germany in Q4.

1. Year ended 31 March 2018 includes a non-cash re-measurement charge of €3.2 billion (€2.2 billion net of tax) recorded in respect of Vodafone India’s fair value less costs of disposal. Year ended 31 March 2017 includes a gross impairment charge of €4.5 billion (€3.7 billion net of tax) recorded in respect of the Group’s investment in India.

2. Alternative performance measures are non-GAAP measures that are presented to provide readers with additional financial information that is regularly reviewed by management and should not be viewed in isolation or as an alternative to the equivalent GAAP measures. See “Alternative performance measures” on page 34 for reconciliations to the closest respective equivalent GAAP measure and “Definition of terms” on page 44 for further details.

3. Free cash flow has been redefined and restated for all years to include restructuring and licence and spectrum payments to ensure greater comparability with similarly titled measures and disclosures by other companies.