Vodafone has reported that its sales growth has slow in the first quarter- dragged down by a weak performance in Europe.
Sales in Italy and Spain shrank, as conditions remained “challenging”. UK growth was weak due to “increased competition and a weak economy”.
Vodafone outperformed its peers over the previous year, paying a record dividend to shareholders.
Shares in the mobile operator closed down 2% on Friday trading in London.
Vodafone’s strength in emerging markets, Germany, Turkey and – until recently – the UK has helped offset a slump in southern Europe. But in recent months the downturn on the Continent has begun to take its toll.
In May, the company wrote down the value of its assets in Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece by £4 billion.
Vodafone, the world’s largest mobile operator by revenue, provides its growth figures on a reported basis and on an organic basis.
Organic revenue growth reflects performance on a comparable basis, by stripping out the effects of mergers and acquisitions and of movements in foreign exchange rates.
The continuing woeful performance of the eurozone emphasises the need for a global focus for increasing your sales and profits.