30 Sep 2008

Vodafone makes $630m catch-up payment to UK parent

5:58 pm on 30 September 2008

Vodafone New Zealand paid a record return of $NZ631 million to its parent company in Britain for the past financial year.

The payment is disclosed in Vodafone's accounts filed with the Companies Office, which show its annual profit rose by nearly a fifth, as it expands its operations beyond just providing mobile phone services.

Vodafone New Zealand says payment is a catch-up after not paying anything to Vodafone Group for three years. From now on it will pay a dividend annually.

Vodafone New Zealand says the annual payout will represent 60% of profit, compared to Telecom's 75% payout.

Radio New Zealand's business editor says the company has been very aggressive in the telecommunications market under new rules that forced Telecom to open up its networks to rivals.

Its profit rose 19% to $NZ191.5 million in the year to March compared to the previous year, as it aggressively pushed into the broadband market. Revenue rose 10% to $NZ1.5 billion.

Vodafone bought the internet service provider, ihug, a couple of years ago and recently moved into the wholesale market to compete directly against Telecom.