Vittorio Colao passes on baton at Vodafone

Vittorio Colao passes on baton at Vodafone

He also served on the boards of Vodacom Group and Vodafone India.

Vodafone's earnings announcement Thursday pointed to other challenges ahead for Read, as the company battles low-end price competition in Spain and prepares for the entry of Iliad SA's discount carrier in Italy.

LONDON, May 15 (Reuters) - Vodafone Chief Executive Vittorio Colao will step down in October after 10 years in which the Italian reshaped the world's second largest mobile operator into a digital communications powerhouse with a string of major deals.

Colao, however, said the business had been transformed.

The company forecast it will grow organic adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization by 1 percent to 5 percent in fiscal 2019, bringing the midpoint result below the average analyst estimate of 14.6 billion euros ($17.4 billion).

In the United Kingdom, it made sales of €7.1bn, up from €6.9bn in 2017, and adjusted operating profit of €168m, up from a loss of €542m in the previous year. 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. "Vodafone India has been classified as discontinued operations for Group reporting purposes", Vodafone said.

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"Our business managed costs extremely well, which helped mitigate the reduction in our EBITDA margin despite rolling out 50,000 3G/4G sites during the year", Sunil Sood, managing director of Vodafone India, said in a statement. Airtel's ARPU in the quarter was Rs 116, Idea's was Rs 105, lagging behind Jio's Rs 137.1.

The UK-headquartered company posted operating profit of Rs 9,805 crore in FY18.

"Intense competition is euphemism". During his tenure, Vodafone's mobile customer base grew from 269 million to 536 million. There was an 86 per cent decline in data price on year-on-year basis.

With CFO Nick Read (4 years in the position) slated to replace Vittorio Colao at the helm, investors looked to be erring on the side of caution about the group's direction under new leadership.

The decline in debt was due to the positive translation impact of closing foreign exchange rates on the debt balance of 1.2 billion euro and proceeds of Rs 3,850 crore from the sale of Vodafone India's standalone towers to American Tower Corporation.

There doesn't seem to be any juicy gossip behind the move, he has presumably just made a decision to spend more time with his cash, having spent a decade in charge.

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