Vodafone CEO to quit as firm returns to profit

Vodafone CEO to quit as firm returns to profit

LONDON
Vodafone CEO to quit as firm returns to profit

British telecoms giant Vodafone yesterday announced a return to annual profit, as it revealed that long-serving chief executive Vittorio Colao will step down later this year.

Group Chief Financial Officer Nick Read will succeed Colao from October, with the announcement coming less than a week after Vodafone unveiled a deal to turn it into Europe’s largest cable and broadband operator by buying assets from U.S. peer Liberty Global.

Vodafone yesterday posted net profit of 2.4 billion euros ($2.9 billion) in the 12 months to the end of March, which compared with a loss after tax of 6.3 billion euros in 2016/17, the group said in a statement.

The turnaround pointed to a “year of significant operational and strategic achievement and strong financial performance,” Colao said, as quoted by AFP.

“Our sustained investment in network quality supported robust commercial momentum,” he added.

The announcement of the departure of Vodafone’s boss later this year hit shares in the world’s second largest mobile operator and held back Britain’s leading stocks index early on May 15.

Data showing the U.K. jobless rate was steady at 4.2 percent and that wage growth slowed as expected in April had little impact.

The FTSE blue-chip benchmark was broadly flat by 08.40 GMT while Vodafone shares, index heavyweights, were the worst performer with a 2.5 percent fall, according to Reuters data.

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