Subscriber growth slows at Vodafone

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The Independent Online

Third-quarter subscriber figures from the mobile phone operator Vodafone yesterday confirmed a further slowdown in its global expansion.

The company said it added 2.5 million mobile phone users worldwide in the three months to September, taking its total to 95.6 million users. In the second quarter of the year, it added about 3 million customers, down from the 4.4 million subscribers it added in the first quarter.

Nevertheless, Sir Christopher Gent, chief executive, said the company was on track to achieve 20 per cent customer growth this year, since the anticipated churn from pre-pay growth last year in both the UK and Germany was not as high as the company had expected.

Earlier this year, all the UK mobile phone operators moved to cut mobile phone handset subsidies in an effort to improve their margins rather than concentrate mainly on customer growth and market share.

"The mix of new customers continues to improve as we have moved our strategy from increasing customer numbers to a more targeted approach, focusing on the highest revenue and profit contributors," Sir Christopher said.

Vodafone added 251,000 customers in the UK in the third quarter bringing the total there to 12.8 million.