London, United Kingdom (4E) – Vodafone said it expected its core earnings to decline in 2015 as it continues to invest in its network as part of its efforts to improve speed and coverage. The announcement came as the group released results for 2014, where profits were boosted by a one-off gain of 45bn British pounds from proceeds of the sale of its U.S. business Verizon.
The world’s second-biggest mobile operator in terms of subscribers said net profit in the fiscal year ended March 31 climbed to 59.3bn British pounds ($99.7bn) from 413mn British pounds a year ago. Revenue slid 1.9 percent to 43.6bn British pounds, compared with analysts’ forecasts of 43.4bn British pounds, amid the company’s high exposure to sluggish telecom markets in Europe.
Adjusted for special items, Vodafone’s operating profit dropped 37 percent to 7.87bn British pounds, which includes a five-month contribution from Verizon, versus an entire 12-month contribution a year ago.
The mobile operator declared a fiscal-year dividend of 11 pence per share, an increase of 8 percent on the previous year.
The huge profit was largely due to the one-off contribution of 48.2bn British pounds from the sale of its stake in Verizon Wireless. The company also said it benefited from deferred tax assets.