Telecoms provider Vodafone has reported a pre-tax loss of £492m for the six months to September as it faced “tougher” market conditions in southern Europe.
The loss was down on a pre-tax profit of £8 billion that the group posted in the same period in 2011.
Its latest results statement showed that Vodafone incurred a total impairment charge of £5.9 billion in Spain and Italy as a result of the “challenging” environment and adverse movements in discount rates.
Group revenue was down 7.4% to £21.8 billion on a reported basis as macroeconomic pressures in the southern Europe region offset growth in its emerging market operations.
Vittorio Colao, group chief executive of Vodafone, said that the group had continued to make progress over the last six months.
“In the short-term, however, our results reflect tougher market conditions, mainly in southern Europe.”
In northern and central Europe, service revenue, which is the income from telephone calls, texts and data, increased 1.5% in the first half, with growth of 0.7% in the second quarter.
Vodafone confirmed that Germany and Turkey were behind the rise in the second quarter, up 1.8% and 18% respectively, while the UK deteriorated by 3.2% and service revenue in the Netherlands fell by 2.3%.
EBITDA for the region saw a 3.3% decline year-on-year at £2.8 billion, driven by its operations in Germany and the UK.
As part of its 2015 strategy, the group has forecast that smartphone adoption will accelerate in all markets over the next three years, with mobile applications and low cost smartphone availability increasing in both mature and emerging markets.
It is expected that adjusted operating profit for the full-year will be in the upper half of the range of £11.1 billion to £11.9 billion as indicated in May 2012.