Vodafone group reports increase in Q4 2009 revenue

Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao
Vodafone has released its interim financial results for the quarter ended December 31, revealing that group revenue increased by 10,3% to £11.5 billion during the period.

In Africa and Central Europe, however, the company said service revenue fell 0,5%, a 3,4 percentage point improvement on the previous quarter driven by a return to service revenue growth in Turkey (12,9%) and continued robust growth at Vodacom (5,5%) driven by data.

In Europe, service revenue fell 3,2%, a 1,4 percentage point improvement on the previous quarter. Growth continued in Italy, trends improved in the UK and Germany and trends were stable in Spain.

Data and fixed line revenue continued to show a strong performance. In mobile, improvements were driven by enterprise and messaging with voice usage and price trends broadly stable, the company said.

Asia Pacific and Middle East delivered a 10,4% increase in service revenue; India’s service revenue grew by 13,8% with strong customer growth despite a more competitive environment.

Group data revenue exceeded £1 billion for the first time, up 17,7% year on year, with increased take up of data-enabled smartphones across Europe where active data users now exceed 30 million. Data as a percentage of service revenue in Europe was 11% increasing for the sixth consecutive quarter.

Fixed line revenue grew by 10% to £862 million in the quarter, with strong broadband customer growth. The European broadband customer base now exceeds five million; revenue grew by 4,1% in Germany, 22,3% in Italy and 10,7% in Spain, said Vodafone.

Vittorio Colao, Chief Executive, commented: “Service revenue trends have improved with continuing growth in our data and fixed line revenue.

“Free cash flow guidance has been raised reflecting the impact of our cost and working capital reduction programs. We are on track to deliver on our strategic priorities in the current financial year.”

by Goodman Majola