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Vodafone sees turnaround as profits for 2018 hit £2.5bn

Vodafone sees turnaround as profits for 2018 hit £2.5bn

Vodafone has named group chief financial officer Nick Read as the successor to outgoing chief executive Vittorio Colao who will leave the post with effect from 1 October.

"On behalf of the Board, I would like to express our gratitude to Vittorio for an outstanding tenure", said Vodafone Group Chairman Gerard Kleisterlee.

Read first joined Vodafone in 2001 as Vodafone UK finance director, rising to Vodafone UK chief commercial officer and then Vodafone UK chief executive.

"The overall improvement in Vodafone's fortunes over the last 10 years is less evident in the United Kingdom, the company's worst major European market, albeit that some of this reflects an inherently more competitive mobile market with four strong players", he added.

The UK-based telecom giant's Indian arm had reported a loss of around Rs 30,690 crore for 2016-17 on the back of the Vodafone group scaling down valuation of its Indian unit by taking a gross impairment charge of 4.5 billion euro.

Read, who was appointed to his current post four years ago, previously ran Vodafone's Africa, Middle East and Pacific region. He also served on the boards of Vodacom Group and Vodafone India.

Mr Colao said Mr Read and Ms Della Valle were were the best people to take the group into its next stage, adding that the management team he has created would be his "real legacy".

"While the succession news may have caught the markets off-guard, it appears to be an orderly change within the group", Accendo Markets analyst Artjom Hatsaturjants said as Vodafone's share price dropped 2.6 percent in London morning deals.

Nick has been the co-architect of the Group's strategy together with Vittorio, combining extensive global operational and commercial leadership with world-class financial acumen.

After all, medium-term financial results are only part of corporate success, with vision and strategy providing an equally (some say more) important other side of the coin.

"On March 20, 2017, Vodafone announced an agreement to combine its subsidiary, Vodafone India (excluding its 42 per cent stake in Indus Towers), with Idea Cellular.

And we announced last week the acquisition of Liberty Global's cable assets in Germany and Central and Eastern Europe, transforming the Group into Europe's leading next generation network owner and a truly converged challenger to dominant incumbents".

"I think now is the time to really focus on our organic plan, really focusing on digital transformation of our business and the customer experience".

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