Vodafone profits double as mobile Internet soars

Vodafone has reported a full-year pre-tax profit of £8.7bn for the 12 months to the end of March, more than doubling its fiscal 2009 profits as worldwide growth in mobile data and broadband traffic over smartphone devices continued unimpeded. Vodafone said it now has over 50 million active

Vodafone has reported a full-year pre-tax profit of £8.7bn for the 12 months to the end of March, more than doubling its fiscal 2009 profits as worldwide growth in mobile data and broadband traffic over smartphone devices continued unimpeded.

Vodafone said it now has over 50 million active data users, with data revenues breaking the £4bn barrier for the first time, and claims to be generating approximately a third of sales from areas other than mobile voice.

The UK-based mobility giant saw total sales rise 8.4% to £4.5bn, with declines in Europe and Africa offset by growth in Asia, particularly India, where it now boasts over 100 million customers.

The UK business saw revenues dropping through the year as voice revenues slipped away and customers became more canny in their use of roaming tariffs as the economic slump made its effects felt.

However, in the last three months of the year this decline slowed as data revenues picked up and new devices - including the iPhone - came on stream.

Vittorio Colao, Vodafone chief executive, said the outlook for Vodafone looked rosy, after the results exceeded previous guidance and saw signs of improvement at the back end of the financial year.

"Cost reduction targets were delivered ahead of schedule enabling commercial reinvestment to improve market share and further strengthen our technology platforms," he said.

Vodafone expects to return to low levels of organic growth during financial 2011, dependent on anticipated improvements in the global economic outlook.

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