India markets open in 2 hours 22 minutes

Vodafone keeps dividend as pandemic boosts data

Bucking the recent corporate trend to cut or scrap payouts, Vodafone maintained its dividend on Tuesday (May 12).

The world's second-biggest mobile operator met expectations with a 2.6% rise in full-year core earnings.

They reached just over $16 billion in the year to March 31st.

Vodafone said data usage was surging and it was retaining more customers thanks to the reliability of its networks.

The boost for data came as customers work from home and use technology to stay in contact with friends and family.

But it wasn't all good news, the British company said a drop in international travel had hit revenues from roaming calls.

Roaming in Europe was down by as much as 75% in April as global restrictions curbed travel.

Vodafone also expects customer spending to suffer from the economic downturn, with some small business customers already requesting payment deferrals.

Shares in the group, which have fallen 19% in the last 12 months, were up over 7 percent in afternoon trade.

Vodafone's CEO said the firm would not change course in Britain after two of its rivals, Liberty Global's Virgin Media and Telefonica's O2, said they would merge.

Vodafone has 65 million mobile contract and 25 million broadband customers in Europe.