StockMarketWire.com - Telecom group Vodafone said its first-quarter revenue slipped 1.4%, citing impacts from the Covid-19 crisis, but said it still expected its annual adjusted operating earnings to be flat or slightly lower.

The company also said an initial public offering of the Vantage Towers infrastructure business was on track for early 2021.

Revenue for the three months through June fell to €10.51bn, down from €10.65bn on-year.

The pandemic had hit sales due to lower revenue from roaming and visitors, project delays and lower automotive activity in the business sector.

Vodafone also recorded lower prepaid revenue in some smaller markets.

The company said it was on track to deliver a reduction in operating expenses of at least €0.4bn.

Guidance for 'at least' €5.0bn of free cash flow was also reiterated.

'Our trading performance in the first quarter demonstrates the relative resilience of our operating model and focused delivery of our strategic priorities,' chief executive Nick Read said.

'Whilst we have seen the direct impact on our revenue from travel restrictions and business project delays, we have also seen increased usage in voice and data, alongside record NGN broadband customer net additions in Europe.'

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