INTERNATIONAL – Vodafone’s new chief executive Nick Read said he would reduce operating costs by 1.2 billion euros (R19 bn) by 2021 and review its tower assets to drive higher returns at the world’s second largest mobile operator.
Replacing Vittorio Colao at the top of the British company after the Italian ran the group for 10 years, Read said he would also freeze the dividend until the British company has reduced its debt pile.
“My new strategic priorities focus on ... radically simplifying our operating model and generating better returns from our infrastructure assets,” Read said on Tuesday.
The initial market reaction was positive, with Vodafone shares trading 7 percent higher shortly after the market opened.
The shares had fallen 39 percent since the beginning of the year as investors fret about the cost of acquiring Liberty Global’s cable assets in Germany, the outlay on new spectrum for 5G services and tougher conditions in some European markets.