Vodafone to 'stay in red'

One of Vodafone Australia's co-owners has warned that the No.3 mobile carrier is likely to post further losses after making a $900 million loss over the past year.

One of Vodafone Australia's co-owners has warned that the No.3 mobile carrier is likely to post further losses after making a $900 million loss over the past year.

While the carrier had made inroads into stabilising its financial performance, Hutchison chairman Canning Fok said he still expected Vodafone's balance sheet to be in the red this year. Hutchinson has a 50 per cent stake in Vodafone.

BusinessDay this week revealed Vodafone Australia's parents were forced to pay $173 million into a lending facility after the Australian venture came close to breaching covenants on a $3 billion loan earlier this year.

Vodafone's talks with its bankers continue as its latest accounts show Vodafone Hutchison Australia recorded an $899 million loss for last calendar year. This had widened from a loss of $420 million in 2011.

"Although continuing losses are anticipated in 2013, HTAL [Hutchison Telecom Australia] expects improvements in VHA's [Vodafone Australia's] performance through the year and into 2014," Mr Fok told investors at the telco's annual meeting.

Vodafone Hutchison Australia is a joint venture between Vodafone and Hutchison Telecom, owned by Asia's richest man, Li Ka-Shing.

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