Vodafone loss doubles on India woes

British mobile phone giant Vodafone on Tuesday said its first-half net loss doubled to more than 5.0 billion euros owing to a huge writedown for its Indian unit.

Vodafone said its loss after tax soared to 5.1 billion euros ($5.5 billion) in the six months to September 30 compared with a net loss of 2.5 billion euros one year earlier.

Vodafone said it was hit by an impairment charge of 6.4 billion euros "in respect of the group's investment in India".

"Competition in India has increased in the year, reducing revenue growth and profitability," Vodafone chief executive Vittorio Colao said in the results statement.

"We have responded to this changing competitive environment by strengthening our data and voice commercial offers and by focusing our participation in the recent spectrum auction on acquiring frequencies in the more successful and profitable areas of the country," he added.

Stripping out the exceptional hit from India as well as interest payments, Vodafone posted pre-tax profit of 7.9 billion euros for the first half, a drop of 1.7 percent compared with one year earlier.

Vodafone's share price was up 1.6 percent at 207.9 pence in early deals on London's rising FTSE 100 index.