Vodafone will have its work cut out if a €1.2 billion bid to acquire Cable & Wireless Worldwide (C&WW) is approved by the latter’s shareholders.
The firm slipped to a loss of £541 million (€423 million) in the year to end-March from a profit of £209 million at end-March 2011, as higher operating costs wiped out a year-on-year rise in revenue. EBITDA fell from £427 million at end-March 2011 to £378 million in the recent financial year.
C&WW attributes its lower revenue mostly to a fall in voice services, however it notes the decline was partially offset by growth in its hosting business, and states more of its sales are now coming from IP, data, hosting and applications. Sales income from the UK – still C&WW’s largest market – fell £113 million year-on-year, however global sales grew £5 million.
The firm also revealed its shareholders will make a decision on whether to accept Vodafone’s offer by mid-June. C&WW’s board approved the offer late April, however some shareholders believe management is selling out too cheaply.