Vodafone says Vantage Towers mast spin-off to pay significant dividends

Vodafone has indicated that the Vantage Towers mast business it plans to float next year will look to pay chunky dividends and grow through opportunities in 5G.

It came as the telecoms giant unveiled the latest set of financial results for the mobile towers business it will spin-off in the first quarter of 2021.

In a statement ahead of capital markets day, Vodafone said Vantage will seek to pay out 60% of its recurring cash flow as dividends.

This would hand around 280 million euros (£251 million) for the current year to the end of March based on current forecasts, it said.

Vantage, which is one of the largest mobile tower owners in Europe with 68,000 sites, posted revenues to 479 million euros (£430 million) for the half-year to September.

The company said it also has commitments to build a further 7,100 sites as it continues its expansion.

Vodafone told investors that Vantage is “well positioned” in each of its market to benefit from growth in data usage, the roll-out of 5G and obligations over increased network coverage.

Vivek Badrinath, chief executive of Vantage, said: “Vantage Towers is now fully operational, with activities in nine countries, including Infrastructture Wireless Italiane, and I am pleased to report a good first set of results as a standalone company.

“People and businesses across Europe need more and better connectivity.

“Vantage Towers is ready to support its customers to satisfy this demand.

“The growth potential in the towers sector is fuelled by the requirement for data as well as the roll out of 5G technology and new and wider network coverage obligations across Europe.”

On Monday, Vodafone hailed “resilient” trading for the past half-year as it delivered higher operating profits.

Shares in Vodafone were 3.1% lower at 123.8p in early trading on Tuesday.