Jason Alden | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Vittorio Colao, chief executive officer of Vodafone Group Plc, poses for a photograph in London, on Monday, Sept. 2, 2013.

Vodafone Chief Executive Vittorio Colao will step down in October after 10 years in charge of the world’s second largest mobile operator, and will be succeeded by finance director Nick Read, the company said on Tuesday.

Colao has transformed the British company during his time at the helm. He took Vodafone out of the United States with a $130 billion exit from a joint venture with Verizon, agreed to merge its operations in India with Idea Cellular and a week ago struck a deal to buy Liberty Global‘s cable TV and broadband networks in Germany and Eastern Europe.

The announcement came as the company reported a 1.4 percent rise in organic service revenue for its fourth quarter, beating analyst forecasts of a 1.1 percent rise.

Core earnings rose 11.8 percent to 14.7 billion euros, beating guidance for “around 10 percent” organic growth and just ahead of analyst forecasts of 14.6 billion euros.

For 2019, the group forecast organic adjusted core earnings growth of between 1 and 5 percent, and free cash flow before spectrum costs of at least 5.2 billion euros, slightly down on the 2018 number of 5.4 billion euros.



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