http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk Proactiveinvestors RSS feed en Sun, 23 Sep 2018 23:17:14 +0100 http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Genera CMS action@proactiveinvestors.com (Proactiveinvestors) action@proactiveinvestors.com (Proactiveinvestors) <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180918135943_13795245/ Tue, 18 Sep 2018 13:59:43 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180918135943_13795245/ <![CDATA[News - Credit Suisse downgrades Vodafone Group target but stays positive on longer term view ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/205028/credit-suisse-downgrades-vodafone-group-target-but-stays-positive-on-longer-term-view-205028.html Credit Suisse has downgraded its targets for Vodafone Group PLC (LON:VOD), citing recent foreign exchange changes and commentary from a management presentation, leading to lower forecasts for headline earnings and free cash flow.

The target reduces by 10p per share, to 225p, nonetheless, the Swiss bank retains a positive ‘outperform’ rating.

READ: Vodafone divi “at risk” but still worth a punt, says Citi

Analysts noted that some near-term challenges remain for Vodafone – namely softer growth in the second quarter, uncertainties around the Liberty deal closing, and balance sheet pressure – but, they believe that 2019 should see better trading.

“Taking a slightly longer-term view we expect the outlook for the stock to improve and see the recent weakness as providing a more attractive entry point,” the analysts said.

“We see this recovery as driven by 1) service revenue growth inflecting and returning to modest growth in FY19 (CSe); 2) Digitization and synergy realisation to drive margin expansion (> 1pp margin expansion p.a. in FY19-20); 3) improving visibility on spectrum costs (no negative auction surprises so far) and peak leverage.”

Ahead of half-yearly results due in November, the Credit Suisse analysts said they believe a reiteration of guidance would be positive for the telecom share price, even if the service revenue is slowing.

]]>
Mon, 17 Sep 2018 13:08:00 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/205028/credit-suisse-downgrades-vodafone-group-target-but-stays-positive-on-longer-term-view-205028.html
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180907144302_13783478/ Fri, 07 Sep 2018 14:43:02 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180907144302_13783478/ <![CDATA[News - Vodafone divi “at risk” but still worth a punt, says Citi ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/204330/vodafone-divi-at-risk-but-still-worth-a-punt-says-citi-204330.html Vodafone PLC’s (LON:VOD) dividend is at risk of being cut, according to Citi analysts, but they still reckon the telecoms giant is worth a punt.

The FTSE 100 group has seen almost a third wiped from its value since the turn of the year, largely due to concerns over increased competition in some of its overseas markets – Italy, Spain and India, to be precise.

READ: Vodafone completes merger of India business

Citi number cruncher Georgios Ierodiaconou acknowledges these issues but argues that Vodafone’s “strengths should not be ignored”.

“Germany is a good and we believe improving market; Vod UK should show good growth. Smaller markets are on balance performing well,” wrote the analyst in a note to clients.

He adds that the dividend, in his opinion, is at risk of being chopped, but only if the company “is forced by the market” to do so.

Ierodiaconou concludes: “Worth a trade – upgrade to ‘buy’ — we see upside risk for VOD shares in the near term unless the credit markets not just deteriorate but do so meaningfully.”

Shares climbed almost 2% on Thursday morning to 166p.

]]>
Thu, 06 Sep 2018 10:19:00 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/204330/vodafone-divi-at-risk-but-still-worth-a-punt-says-citi-204330.html
<![CDATA[RNS press release - PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT WITH TELECOM ARGENTINA ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180905140001_13780127/ Wed, 05 Sep 2018 14:00:01 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180905140001_13780127/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180903142249_13776971/ Mon, 03 Sep 2018 14:22:49 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180903142249_13776971/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Total Voting Rights ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180903095845_13776290/ Mon, 03 Sep 2018 09:58:45 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180903095845_13776290/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Publication of a Prospectus ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180831154842_13775247/ Fri, 31 Aug 2018 15:48:42 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180831154842_13775247/ <![CDATA[News - Vodafone completes merger of India business with Idea Cellular ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/203961/vodafone-completes-merger-of-india-business-with-idea-cellular-203961.html Vodafone PLC (LON:VOD) has completed the merger of its India business with Idea Cellular to create the largest telecoms operator in the nation.

The company announced the deal in March in a bid to strengthen its position in India’s competitive mobile market.

READ: Vodafone Australia and TPG agree A$15bn merger to take on Optus and Telstra

The combined business will be renamed Vodafone Idea Ltd and will remain listed in India.

Aditya Birla Group, the majority shareholder of Idea Cellular, is to buy a 4.8% stake in Vodafone Idea from Vodafone for INR26bn (£281mln). Following completion of the deal, Vodafone will own a 45.2% stake in Vodafone Idea and Aditya Birla will own a 26.0% stake.

Former Vodafone India chief operation officer Balesh Sharma has been appointed the chief executive of the merged business.

In the year to June 30, Vodafone India and Idea generated revenue of INR585bn (£6.3bn) and earnings (EBITDA) of INR107bn (£1.2bn).

Vodafone said the merged company is expected to deliver INR140bn (£1.5bn) in run-rate cost and capex synergies.

READ: Vodafone shares drop as it posts slowdown in first quarter organic service revenue

The news comes a day after Vodafone said its Australian business and local rival TPGTelecom Limited have agreed to merge into a single A$15bn telecommunications company that will be able to better compete with Telstra and Optus.

Fierce competition in some of its markets, including a price war in India, led to a slowdown in first-quarter organic service revenue.

]]>
Fri, 31 Aug 2018 08:44:00 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/203961/vodafone-completes-merger-of-india-business-with-idea-cellular-203961.html
<![CDATA[RNS press release - COMPLETION OF THE MERGER OF VODAFONE INDIA & IDEA ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180831070003_13773749/ Fri, 31 Aug 2018 07:00:03 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180831070003_13773749/ <![CDATA[News - Vodafone Australia and TPG agree A$15bn merger to take on Optus and Telstra ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/203853/vodafone-australia-and-tpg-agree-a15bn-merger-to-take-on-optus-and-telstra-203853.html Vodafone Group PLC's (LON:VOD) Australian business and local rival TPG Telecom Limited have agreed to merge into a single A$15bn telecommunications company in a bid to strengthen their position in a competitive market. 

The combination of Vodafone Hutchison Australia Pty Limited (VHA) – Australia’s third largest mobile operator – and TPG will have about 20% of the nation’s mobile phone market and 22% of the fixed-line market.  

TPG is Australia’s second largest fixed-line operator with a residential subscriber base of 1.9mln.

“The combined listed company will be a more capable challenger to Telstra and Optus, and will be much better placed to invest in next generation mobile and fixed line services to benefit Australian consumers and businesses,” Vodafone’s chief executive designate Nick Read said.

READ: Vodafone shares drop as it posts slowdown in first quarter organic service revenue

Vodafone will own a 50.10% stake in the merged company, with TPG owning the remaining shares.

TPG chairman and chief executive David Teoh will become chairman of MergeCo and VHA boss Iñaki Berroeta will be managing director and chief executive of the company.

The merged company will be listed on the Australian Securities Exchange and be called TPG Telecom Limited.

Merged company to deliver cost and revenue synergies

Vodafone said the merger is expected to generate “substantial cost synergies” from the combination of two complementary networks and boost revenues through the cross-selling of products across the companies’ corporate and consumer customers.

The enterprise value of the merged group will be about US$15bn, with revenue of more than US$6bn and earnings (EBITDA) of $1.8bn. Net debt will be about US$4bn.

The merger is expected to be completed in 2019, subject to approval from TPG shareholders and regulatory authorities.

TPG and VHA sign joint venture

Separately, TPG and VHA signed a separate joint venture for a licence for the 3.6 GHz spectrum. The government is auctioning 125 MHz of 3.6 GHz band spectrum in late November.

]]>
Thu, 30 Aug 2018 07:44:00 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/203853/vodafone-australia-and-tpg-agree-a15bn-merger-to-take-on-optus-and-telstra-203853.html
<![CDATA[RNS press release - VODAFONE GROUP ANNOUNCES MERGER BETWEEN VHA & TPG ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180830070015_13772263/ Thu, 30 Aug 2018 07:00:15 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180830070015_13772263/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180813151806_13753521/ Mon, 13 Aug 2018 15:18:06 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180813151806_13753521/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180810144640_13751903/ Fri, 10 Aug 2018 14:46:40 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180810144640_13751903/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Block listing Interim Review ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180801135704_13740069/ Wed, 01 Aug 2018 13:57:04 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180801135704_13740069/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Total Voting Rights ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180801135003_13740064/ Wed, 01 Aug 2018 13:50:03 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180801135003_13740064/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - BOARD AND COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP CHANGES ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180727154103_13734821/ Fri, 27 Jul 2018 15:41:03 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180727154103_13734821/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Result of AGM ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180727154003_13734820/ Fri, 27 Jul 2018 15:40:03 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180727154003_13734820/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - VODAFONE SPAIN ACQUIRES SPECTRUM FOR 5G SERVICES ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180725152450_13731373/ Wed, 25 Jul 2018 15:24:50 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180725152450_13731373/ <![CDATA[News - Vodafone shares drop as it posts slowdown in first quarter organic service revenue ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/201527/vodafone-shares-drop-as-it-posts-slowdown-in-first-quarter-organic-service-revenue-201527.html Fierce competition in Italy, Spain and India led to a slowdown in first-quarter organic service revenue for Vodafone Group PLC (LON:VOD).

The company said organic service revenue increased 0.3% under its new IAS 18 accounting basis in the quarter ended June 30.

Under the old IFRS 15 basis, organic service revenue rose 1.1%, slowing from the 1.6% growth recorded the same period a year ago.

Shares edged down 1.3% to 175p in mid-morning trading.

Growth driven by Europe and emerging markets 

Outgoing boss Vittorio Colao said ongoing momentum in Germany, a recovery in the UK and good growth in Africa, Middle East and the Asia Pacific region helped to mitigate tough trading in Italy and Spain along with a price war in India.

“Our commercial performance was solid, with further broadband market share gains in Europe, a record number of customers adopting our converged propositions, and the continued success of our world-leading internet of things platform,” he said.

Colao said Vodafone has received conditional approval from the Department of Telecoms for the merger of Vodafone India and Idea Cellular, which is expected to be completed in August and will “unlock sUBStantial synergies”.

READ: Vodafone shares drop as UBS cuts target price and predicts slowdown in growth

He added: “The group's overall performance (including good progress in reducing absolute operating costs for the third year running) provides us with the confidence to reiterate our outlook for the year.”

Vodafone maintains full-year guidance

Vodafone left its forecast for the year unchanged at underlying organic adjusted earnings (EBITDA) growth of 1-5% and free cash flow pre-spectrum of at least €5.2bn.

George Salmon, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “The long-standing problems with telecoms is that consumers want a better deal every time they renew a contract, and there’s little to differentiate between providers other than the price they charge. That means competition between networks can be fierce. Unfortunately, that’s something Vodafone is finding out the hard way, with pricing in Spain being reassessed as a result of extra competition, and the Indian business on the cusp of being combined with a rival in an effort to front up to new challenges."

Still, there are some silver linings, he said, pointing to growth in emerging markets and more European customers taking on multiple services from the group. 

"Bundling TV, phone and broadband together is Vodafone’s solution to the age-old problem of customer retention, so investors will be keeping a keen eye on progress in from here on," he added. 

]]>
Wed, 25 Jul 2018 08:46:00 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/201527/vodafone-shares-drop-as-it-posts-slowdown-in-first-quarter-organic-service-revenue-201527.html
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Trading update for the quarter ended 30 June 2018 ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180725070007_13730034/ Wed, 25 Jul 2018 07:00:07 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180725070007_13730034/ <![CDATA[News - Vodafone shares drop as UBS cuts target price and predicts slowdown in growth ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/201238/vodafone-shares-drop-as-ubs-cuts-target-price-and-predicts-slowdown-in-growth-201238.html Vodafone Group PLC (LON:VOD) shares dipped as UBS cut its target price on the stock and said it expects the telecoms firm to report a slowdown in organic service revenue in the first quarter.

The company reports its first quarter results on Wednesday and UBS estimates organic services revenue to rise 0.1%, compared to 1.4% in the fourth quarter, due to weakness in Spain and Italy, along with an increased drag from UK handset financing.

However, UBS said this slowdown was already flagged at the fourth quarter results and since then shares have fallen 10%.

READ: Vodafone announces departure of CEO Vittorio Colao as it swings to full year profit

“VOD shares are trading at the bottom end of a five-year trading range, despite the company having transformed its portfolio and realising a tailwind from cost savings,” it said.

UBS maintained a ‘buy’ rating on the stock but lowered its target price to 250p from 255p, saying it thinks Vodafone shares are “too cheap” and the company offers a dividend yield of 7.5% for 2018.

It thinks investor expectations for the first quarter are low and a re-iteration of full-year guidance should provide reassurance.

Shares dropped 1.03% to 176p in morning trading. 

]]>
Fri, 20 Jul 2018 12:40:00 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/201238/vodafone-shares-drop-as-ubs-cuts-target-price-and-predicts-slowdown-in-growth-201238.html
<![CDATA[RNS press release - PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT WITH TUNISIE TELECOM ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180713140004_13717684/ Fri, 13 Jul 2018 14:00:04 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180713140004_13717684/ <![CDATA[News - Vodafone's generous dividend under threat, Kepler Chevreux believes ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/200576/vodafone-s-generous-dividend-under-threat-kepler-chevreux-believes-200576.html Kepler Chevreux has initiated coverage of mobile phone network giant Vodafone Group PLC (LON:VOD) with a ‘reduce’ recommendation.

The group’s ability to sustain its generous dividend is a concern for the broker, taking into consideration higher free cash flow volatility related to the radio frequencies (i.e. spectrum) allocated to the mobile phone industry and Vodafone’s proposed US$21.8bn acquisition of Liberty Global’s assets in Germany and eastern Europe.

READ: Vodafone 'highly likely' to receive approval for Liberty Global deal, says Citi

Vodafone has several spectrum auctions coming up, which will delay it on the path to free cash flow growth, leaving the dividend uncovered, Kepler believes.

In the broker’s view, income investors who want exposure to the European telecoms sector would be better off putting their money into KPN, Orange or Telia.

“With c. 75% of total service revenues coming from mobile, Vodafone remains a predominantly mobile carrier. While the case for data growth is evident, the case for data monetisation is not,” Kepler argues.

Digitalisation should make Vodafone more profitable, but the group is going to have to live with higher capital expenditure, the broker added, particularly with the group having to play catch-up in fixed-line services.

The broker’s sum-of-the-parts valuation of Vodafone is 180p. Shares in Vodafone were down 1.6% at 186p in late morning trading.

]]>
Wed, 11 Jul 2018 11:19:00 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/200576/vodafone-s-generous-dividend-under-threat-kepler-chevreux-believes-200576.html
<![CDATA[RNS press release - VODAFONE GREECE ACQUIRES CYTA TELECOMMUNICATIONS ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180711091503_13713660/ Wed, 11 Jul 2018 09:15:03 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180711091503_13713660/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - FIRST WEARABLE PRODUCTS IN "V BY VODAFONE" RANGE ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180710070010_13711353/ Tue, 10 Jul 2018 07:00:10 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180710070010_13711353/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Vodafone launches multi-country programme ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180704070005_13704611/ Wed, 04 Jul 2018 07:00:05 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180704070005_13704611/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Total Voting Rights ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180702100931_13701371/ Mon, 02 Jul 2018 10:09:31 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180702100931_13701371/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180628121625_13697702/ Thu, 28 Jun 2018 12:16:25 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180628121625_13697702/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180627171610_13696388/ Wed, 27 Jun 2018 17:16:10 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180627171610_13696388/ <![CDATA[News - Vodafone to trial 5G mobile network technology in seven cities later this year ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/199240/vodafone-to-trial-5g-mobile-network-technology-in-seven-cities-later-this-year-199240.html Mobile phone networks giant Vodafone Group PLC (LON:VOD) is to try out 5G in seven major British cities in the fourth quarter of this year.

The next generation mobile broadband service will go on trial at more than 40 sites in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool, London and Manchester.

READ: Vodafone to be Europe's leading next generation network owner after €18.4bn Liberty Global deal

The telecoms company also said it is talking to business customers about testing augmented reality and virtual reality technology in factories, hospital and offices.

5G is the next big thing in networking technology for connected devices, holding out the prospect of speeds up to 100 times as fast as 4G and 10 times swifter than broadband to the home.

The higher speed results from the technology operating at a higher frequency than current networks but the range is not so great, which means network operators will have to erect more base stations to ensure decent coverage.

Vodafone said the trials will use the recently released 3.4GHz (gigahertz) spectrum band.

James Rogerson, of 5G-focused web site 5G.co.uk said it would make sense were the trial cities to be among the first locations to get the full 5G service once Vodafone launches it commercially.

Earlier this month, rival mobile networks operator EE, which is now owned by BT Group plc, said it would begin 5G trials in East London in October, so it is probably a small step ahead of Vodafone in terms of trials of the technology. There does not seem to be any great rush, at present, as the first 5G-capable phones and devices probably won't be on the market until 2020.

READ: BT, Vodafone, Telefonica and Hutchinson pay £1.35bn in mobile spectrum auction​

Vodafone UK chief executive Nick Jeffery said Vodafone wants to make 5G and new fibre broadband services available to consumers and businesses throughout the UK.

“We will also be bringing ultra-fast 4G to several hundred sites in hard to reach rural areas this year, building on our position as the network that offers the best voice coverage in the UK,” he added.

Shares in Vodafone were up 1.1% at 187.82p in afternoon trading.

]]>
Wed, 20 Jun 2018 14:22:00 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/199240/vodafone-to-trial-5g-mobile-network-technology-in-seven-cities-later-this-year-199240.html
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180613092746_13677807/ Wed, 13 Jun 2018 09:27:46 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180613092746_13677807/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - CHANGE IN VODAFONE'S OWNERSHIP OF VODACOM GROUP ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180611070004_13673657/ Mon, 11 Jun 2018 07:00:04 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180611070004_13673657/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - 2018 Annual Report on Form 20-F ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180608142001_13673166/ Fri, 08 Jun 2018 14:20:01 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180608142001_13673166/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Annual Financial Report ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180601141312_13664186/ Fri, 01 Jun 2018 14:13:12 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180601141312_13664186/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Total Voting Rights ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180601113802_13663863/ Fri, 01 Jun 2018 11:38:02 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180601113802_13663863/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Issue of Debt ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180530181501_13660534/ Wed, 30 May 2018 18:15:01 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180530181501_13660534/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180530145911_13660271/ Wed, 30 May 2018 14:59:11 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180530145911_13660271/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180529104756_13658048/ Tue, 29 May 2018 10:47:56 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180529104756_13658048/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Publication of Suppl.Prospcts ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180525160117_13656445/ Fri, 25 May 2018 16:01:17 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180525160117_13656445/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Repurchase of Floating Rate Notes by Verizon ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180524151936_13654585/ Thu, 24 May 2018 15:19:36 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180524151936_13654585/ <![CDATA[News - Vodafone 'highly likely' to receive approval for Liberty Global deal, says Citi ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/197274/vodafone-highly-likely-to-receive-approval-for-liberty-global-deal-says-citi-197274.html Vodafone Group PLC’s (LON:VOD) deal to buy continental European assets from Liberty Global is highly likely to receive the go-ahead from regulators but that could be a long way off, according to Citigroup.

Earlier this month, Vodafone agreed to pay US$21.8bn to buy Liberty Global’s assets in Germany and eastern Europe to expand its business with a range of cable TV, broadband and mobile services.

Vodafone expects the deal to close by mid-2019.

Citi downgraded Vodafone to a ‘neutral’ rating, saying the deal is “structure sensible” but it might be a while before it receives clearance. 

“We believe deal clearance is highly likely but the market will likely wait to see the remedies that may be required before it credits Vodafone for the full synergy potential,” the broker said.

On Tuesday, Vodafone announced that its chief executive Vittorio Colao is to step down in October and would be replaced by chief financial officer Nick Read.

READ: Vodafone announces departure of CEO Vittorio Colao as it swings to full year profit

It also reported an attributable profit of €2.5bn, compared to a loss of €6.3bn in 2017 when the company incurred a one-off €4.5bn charge in relation to merging its India business with the country’s mobile phone provider Idea Cellular Limited.

India the 'biggest risk' to sentiment on Vodafone

Adjusted underlying earnings (EBITDA) increased 4.2% to €14.7bn. Total revenue fell 2.2% to €46.6bn but organic revenue rose 1.6% and free cash flow (FCF) increased 22% to €4.0bn.

“We look at VOD on a proportionate basis in terms of: a) revenues/ EBITDA growth; b) FCF generation; and c) leverage (3.0x and 3.8x post Liberty close and pre synergies),” Citi said.

“We see India as the biggest risk to sentiment as leverage and margin pressure raise concerns of recap needs.”

In mid-morning trading, shares in Vodafone were down 1.1% to 193.7p.

]]>
Fri, 18 May 2018 10:37:00 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/197274/vodafone-highly-likely-to-receive-approval-for-liberty-global-deal-says-citi-197274.html
<![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180517124226_13645506/ Thu, 17 May 2018 12:42:26 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180517124226_13645506/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Notice of Full Redemption ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180516111924_13643580/ Wed, 16 May 2018 11:19:24 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180516111924_13643580/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Director/PDMR Shareholding ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180516094931_13643331/ Wed, 16 May 2018 09:49:31 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180516094931_13643331/ <![CDATA[News - Are Vodafone and BT bosses up to the challenge?, analysts question ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/197015/are-vodafone-and-bt-bosses-up-to-the-challenge-analysts-question-197015.html The departure of Vodafone Group PLC’s (LON:VOD) chief executive sent shares in the telecoms company lower on Tuesday as some analysts questioned whether his successor was the most suitable candidate to steer the ship in the right direction. 

Vittorio Colao will stand down in October after almost a decade at the helm of Vodafone.

He will hand over the reins to Nick Read, who has been chief financial officer for the past four years. Deputy chief financial officer will succeed Read.

Shares in Vodafone fell 3.4% to 199p in afternoon trading.

READ: Vodafone announces departure of CEO Vittorio Colao as it swings to full year profit

Under Colao’s leadership, Vodafone has undergone a restructuring to focus on its core markets in Europe and to reshape the company into a digital communications operator.  

As part of the overhaul, Vodafone has exited non-core markets, including India and the US, and embarked on a plan to expand in its core market of Europe.

Earlier this month, Vodafone agreed to buy Liberty Global’s cable operations in Germany and Central Europe in a deal valued at €18.4bn. 

Investors 'sceptical' about new Vodafone CEO

Artjom Hatsaturjants, research analyst at Accendo Markets, said: “Colao has in past sought to exit many of Vodafone’s non-core markets (e.g. India, US), but investors look sceptical about whether his replacements can steward the massive acquisition programme in Central and Eastern Europe to drive future revenue growth not just in the medium-term, but for the longer haul.

“After 10 years of stability under Colao, Vodafone is potentially setting sail into uncharted waters under the guidance of an executive that has been with the company only 4 years and has less top level experience than the markets would have been fully comfortable with.”

But another analyst pointed at the Colao has struggled to do much for the company’s share price during his tenure.

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said Vodafone’s share price is up just 23% over the time Colao has been in charge against a 45.2% advance for the FTSE 100.

“Of course, this ignores the significant sums returned to shareholders through dividends and share buybacks and the performance of the shares under Colao may not reflect any failings on his part,” he said.

“After all, Vodafone is an established player in a mature market and has few levers to pull for growth.”

He added: “Ultimately Colao’s successor, current chief financial officer Nick Read, could also be running to stand still.”

BT's boss under pressure to turnaround the business

Likewise, some investors have been questioning whether the chief executive of rival telecoms giant BT Group PLC (LON:BT.A) can survive as he tackles the challenges of regulation, pensions, high costs and tough competition.

Gavin Patterson, who joined BT as chief executive in 2013, last week unveiled plans to cut 13,000 managerial and back-office jobs and to leave the London headquarters as part of his new strategy to reduce costs.

READ: BT Group shares drop as it slashes 13,000 jobs and revenues fall, but dividend maintained

“13,000 job cuts and a move out of central London are drastic actions, and should help deliver £1.5bn in cost savings. But they still aren’t going to be enough to dig BT out the hole it’s in,” according to George Salmon, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.

“The dividend, which was rising 10% a year not so long ago, is set to freeze for the foreseeable future, and next year’s profits look likely to fall again.”

The strategy update, which follows a tough 2017 that included an accounting scandal in Italy, came as the group reported a 1% decline in full year revenue to £23.7bn and a 2% drop in adjusted underlying earnings (EBITDA) to £7.5bn.

BT left its full year dividend unchanged at 15.4p even as it said it expects adjusted EBITDA to fall to £7.3bn - £7.4bn.

Shares have continued to drop since the full year results and strategy update last Thursday. In afternoon trading on Tuesday, shares were down 1.4% to 208p.

Vodafone returns to full year profit but revenues drop

In comparison, Vodafone said it swung to a full year profit of €2.5bn in the year to March 31, 2018 from a loss of €6.3bn last year.

However, last year’s results included a one-off €4.5bn charge in relation to merging its India business with the country’s mobile phone provider Idea Cellular Limited.

Total revenue fell 2.2% to €46.6bn, mainly due to the foreign exchange headwinds and the negative impact from the deconsolidation of Vodafone Netherlands following the creation of the VodafoneZiggo joint venture with Liberty Global.

Vodafone raised its final dividend by 2% to €0.1023, bringing the total payment for the year to €0.1507.

The full year dividend puts its yield at around 6.4%.

“Despite continued investment in the business, such as India and the Liberty Global Germany acquisition, Vodafone has again raised its dividend in view of its own confidence in prospects, and the current yield of 6.4% is a strong invitation to investors who are being paid handsomely to wait whilst the strategy unfolds,” said Richard Hunter, Head of Markets at interactive investor.

Should BT cut its dividend? 

BT’s dividend yield sit at over 7% and some analysts have asked whether it should cut the dividend or scrap it completely and invest the money elsewhere.

It could use the money for its pension scheme or to support its plans to upgrade the UK’s broadband infrastructure to improve internet speeds.

BT has agreed a new 13-year funding plan for its pension, which had a deficit of £11.3bn at the end of June. The group will pay £2.1bn into the scheme by 2020 and a further £2bn will be funded by the issuance of bonds.

READ: BT Group dives again; how much worse could it be were it to cut the divi?

“BT has paid its shareholders £10.7bn in dividends in the last decade, almost the size of its current pension deficit,” said Justin Cooper, chief executive officer of Link Market Services

“Shareholders still need the company to invest for the future, and they are on the hook for the company’s pension scheme one way or another. The big cost reductions BT has announced today will protect the dividend for the next couple of years, but its longer-term prospects are still unclear.”

BT is also under pressure by regulator Ofcom to deliver on its plans to connect fibre broadband into three million premises by the end of 2020.

It also needs to carry out the upgrade to fend off competition from the likes of CityFibre (LON:CFHL) and Vodafone, which have joined forces to build a new ultra-fast broadband network for five million homes and businesses in the UK.

In April, CityFibre agreed a £538mln takeover by a consortium formed by private equity firm, Antin Infrastructure Partners, and Goldman Sachs’ West Street Infrastructure Partners, giving the company more fire power to back its new broadband network. 

]]>
Tue, 15 May 2018 12:54:00 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/197015/are-vodafone-and-bt-bosses-up-to-the-challenge-analysts-question-197015.html
<![CDATA[News - Vodafone announces departure of CEO Vittorio Colao as it swings to full year profit ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/196980/vodafone-announces-departure-of-ceo-vittorio-colao-as-it-swings-to-full-year-profit-196980.html Vodafone Group PLC (LON:VOD) shares fell on Tuesday as it announced that its chief executive Vittorio Colao is to step down in October as the telecoms giant revealed it swung to a full year profit.

Colao, who has been chief executive since July 2008, will be replaced by chief financial officer Nick Read.

Deputy chief financial officer will succeed Read at the annual general meeting in July.

Chairman Gerard Kleisterlee said: "On behalf of the board, I would like to express our gratitude to Vittorio for an outstanding tenure. He has been an exemplary leader and strategic visionary who has overseen a dramatic transformation of Vodafone into a global pacesetter in converged communications, ready for the Gigabit future.”

In mid-morning trading, Vodafone shares were down 2.7% at 201.6p.

"After 10 years of stability under Colao, Vodafone is potentially setting sail into uncharted waters under the guidance of an executive that has been with the company only 4 years and has less top level experience than the markets would have been fully comfortable with," said Artjom Hatsaturjants, research analyst at Accendo Markets.

Vodafone swings to profit but revenues fall

The announcement was made alongside the group’s financial results for the year to 31 March 2018.

Vodafone delivered an attributable profit of €2.5bn, compared to a loss of €6.3bn in 2017 when the company incurred a one-off €4.5bn charge in relation to merging its India business with the country’s mobile phone provider Idea Cellular Limited.

“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,” Colao said.

“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.”

Total revenue fell 2.2% €46.6bn, reflecting foreign exchange headwinds and the negative impact from the deconsolidation of Vodafone Netherlands following the creation of the VodafoneZiggo joint venture with Liberty Global.

Organic revenue rose 1.6% as broadband market share gains and demand for data offset a drag from new regulation that allows mobile users in the European Union to use free data roaming across the bloc.

Organic adjusted underlying earnings (EBITDA) increased 11.8% to €14.7bn, beating the company’s guidance for about 10% growth.

Excluding the negative impact of net roaming declines in Europe, the benefits of settlements in the UK and Germany and the introduction of handset financing in the UK, organic adjusted EBITDA grew by 7.9%.

Dividend hiked as Vodafone predicts earnings growth in 2019

Vodafone raised its final dividend by 2% to 10.23 cents.

“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,” Colao said.

Vodafone expects organic adjusted EBITDA growth, excluding settlements and UK handset financing, of 1-5%, implying a range of €14.15-14.65bn.

Earlier this month, Vodafone agreed to buy Liberty Global’s cable operations in Germany and Central Europe in a deal valued at €18.4bn.

READ: Vodafone to be Europe's leading next generation network owner after €18.4bn Liberty Global deal

The group said the deal would create a “converged national challenger to the dominant incumbent in Germany”, Deutsche Telecom, and “transforms our predominately mobile-only operations in Central & Eastern Europe”.

 

]]>
Tue, 15 May 2018 07:54:00 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/196980/vodafone-announces-departure-of-ceo-vittorio-colao-as-it-swings-to-full-year-profit-196980.html
<![CDATA[RNS press release - BOARD ANNOUNCES GROUP CHIEF EXECUTIVE SUCCESSION ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180515070302_13640830/ Tue, 15 May 2018 07:03:02 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180515070302_13640830/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Final Results ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180515070008_13640765/ Tue, 15 May 2018 07:00:08 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180515070008_13640765/ <![CDATA[RNS press release - Vodafone Group Directorate Announcement ]]> http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180511143310_13638466/ Fri, 11 May 2018 14:33:10 +0100 http://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/rns/3322/LSE20180511143310_13638466/