Vodafone rings up £9.5bn profit

A surge in demand for smartphones and better-than-expected growth in the UK helped boost Vodafone's annual profits to £9.5 billion today.









The Newbury-based firm also saw a strong performance in emerging markets such as South Africa and India as profits rose 9% in the year to March 31.



However, the mobile phone giant expects a lower outcome next year due to tough trading in Spain and Italy and also the absence of its French associate SFR, which it sold in April. Guidance for profits at an underlying level in 2012 has been trimmed to a range of £11 billion to £11.8 billion.



That is below today's operating profit figure, which rose 3.1% to £11.8 billion, at the top end of the firm's forecasts allowing for the cost of US partner Verizon Wireless's iPhone launch.



That helped boost US revenues and with good performances in Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific revenues overall rose by 3.2% to £45.9 billion.







Data revenues jumped by over a quarter to £5.1 billion, representing 12% of group service revenues as use of smartphones increased rapidly.



Vodafone expects tablets, such as the iPad, to give the market a further boost and become mass market devices eventually.



UK revenues, in particular, grew strongly on the back of this trend and were also helped by customers switching from "all-you-can-eat" packages to pricing plans that reflect data usage.



But the end of call termination charges, to be phased in gradually from next year, will have a "significant negative impact" on UK revenues growth in 2012.



Data also grew strongly in southern Europe, but was outstripped by falling prices in traditional mobile phone revenues. Revenues in Spain and Italy fell by 10.6% and 6% respectively.



Vodafone took impairment charges of over £6.15 billion last year for its businesses in the so-called PIIGS countries of Spain, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Portugal.







Chief executive Vittorio Colao added that Vodafone was holding market share in all of its markets and gaining ground in some.



The strength of its key emerging markets of India and South Africa offset the weakness in southern Europe, he added, while, as data becomes more important, he expects the firm's superior network will become more important than price.



He added: "Continuing network investment is an important differentiator for Vodafone, improving the customer experience and giving us leadership in smartphone penetration and in customer take up of data plans."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

SThree: Talent Acquisition Consultant

£22500 - £27000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: Since our inception in 1986, STh...

Day In a Page

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most