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Today's data summary

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Price Pence
As of 09:10 20 Jun 2019
Market cap. Pound sterling
33,933.44 million
As of 09:10 20 Jun 2019

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Vodafone is 'setting its sights high'

Richard Hunter, head of markets at interactive investor, has been looking at the Vodafone figures. He said:

There is a long list of reasons to be uncheerful from these numbers. Yet there are also grounds for optimism in terms of Vodafone’s ambitions. The reduction to the dividend is prudent, given the enormous constraints on cash flow, not to mention that dividend cover had slipped to unsustainable levels. Whether today proves to be an inflection point remains to be seen, but Vodafone is setting its sights high.

Vodafone unveils loss

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

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Those full-year results from Vodafone unveiled a €7.6bn loss for the year as it sold bits of the business and generally tried to get its act together.

The shares are down by a third this year. It used to be a top FTSE-100 company by size, rivalling giants like Shell and HSBC, but it has now dropped out of the top ten. And now it has cut its dividend payments.

"Vodafone is a huge dividend payer and so important," says Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG Group. Big pension funds like companies with high dividend payouts for so-called income funds.

"It's working out ways of making its assets work harder," he says.

Vodafone slashes dividend

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You know it's not good news when the jargon comes out. Vodafone says it has "rebased" its dividend to 9 eurocents for the year from 15.07 for 2018. That's cut, reduced or decreased to you and me.

The move will help it manage its debt, it says. Sales fell by 6.2% to €43.7bn, which it blames on earnings from weaker currencies, new accounting rules and the sale of Vodafone Qatar.

Markets update

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

George Godber, Fund Manager at Polar Capital, says there's plenty going on for US and UK stock-watchers.

He says the main drop in the US stock market last night can be put down to these "substantial" tariffs the USA rolled out. He points out that no matter what US President Donald Trump says, they are a domestic tax and will hurt domestic producers. "The first round of tariffs were quite modest; this is more substantial," he says.

Apple shares dropped 5% after a lawsuit was allowed to proceed challenging the company's monopoly position over its app store. The shop, which charges as much as 30% commission, is the only way to get software on your phone, and that's being challenged, he says.

At 0700 we get an update from Vodafone. Will it maintain its dividend? Profits are flat for the last six to seven years, and they have an affordable dividend he thinks. No-one likes seeing them cut though.

Vodafone to sell New Zealand business for $2.2bn

Vodafone shop
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Vodafone will sell its New Zealand business for $3.4bn ($2.2bn; £1.7bn) to a consortium of investors as it seeks to ramp up its focus on Europe and cut debt.

The consortium is made up of New Zealand's Infratil and Canada's Brookfield Asset Management.

The telecoms giant has been moving to shrink assets and boost its focus on Europe.

"An important aspect of our strategy is the active management of our portfolio and deleveraging, which this transaction further demonstrates," Nick Read, chief executive of Vodafone Group,said in a statement.