Vodafone profits leap

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The Independent Online

Vodafone today announced underlying first-half profits of £1.8 billion.

Vodafone today announced underlying first-half profits of £1.8 billion.

The British firm, which is the world's biggest mobile phone company, also said that customer numbers had risen to 65.5 million globally.

Profits for the half-year to 30 September rose by 107 per cent after one-off costs related to acquisitions. Vodafone completed its take-over of Germany's Mannesmann in April.

The rise in first-half profits, up 24 per cent on the same period last year, was despite the effect on margins of winning new customers in Germany and also in Britain, where it now has 10.2 million customers.

The chief executive, Chris Gent, said that with the majority of third-generation licences purchased, Vodafone's balance sheet would allow it to continue to take advantage of expansion opportunities.

Highlights included the encouraging take-up of mobile data and Internet usage, he said.

Shares rose five per cent in early trading.

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