Vodafone Group reported a full-year net loss of $40.7 billion for the full year as it continued to be haunted by its extravagant buying sprees in 1999 and 2000. The loss for the fiscal year ending March 31 reflected a $43.7 billion charge for the continuing writedown of international acquisitions made primarily in Germany and Italy during those two years. The company bought some time with shareholders by announcing it would increase dividends and offer a one-time payment to shareholders of $16.73 billion.
Now the operator says it is going to slow its pace of international acquisitions and is even willing to consider selling assets where it believes it "cannot earn a superior return." But the question reporters wanted CEO Arun Sarin to answer during his presentation to the media was whether Vodafone is going to sell off its interest in Verizon Wireless. Sarin told the media what he always tells them when it comes to that question: That he wouldn't rule out a sale, but that he considers it a valuable asset that is increasing in value. In a not surprising move, Vodafone is looking to add broadband wired services to compete with converged services.