Vodafone reports rise in users despite revenue decline

UK mobile phone giant Vodafone has reported a 1% decline in global revenue for the first half of its 2004 to 2005 financial year,...

UK mobile phone giant Vodafone has reported a 1% decline in global revenue for the first half of its 2004 to 2005 financial year, along with a loss for the period, but touted its ability to add new users across its global customer base.

Group revenue for the company fell slightly to £16.8bn compared with £16.9bn a year earlier. Vodafone said the decline could be attributed to unfavorable exchange rates and the effects of acquisitions and disposals, mainly the sale of its Japanese fixed-line arm, Japan Telecom.

Vodafone made a net loss of £3.2bn in the first six months of its financial year, dragged down by its goodwill amortisation charge of £7.3bn. This compares to a net loss of £4.3bn in the same period last year, the company said.

The mobile operator continued to add new users across its global customer base.

Over the year, proportionate customer numbers increased by 17% from 125.3 million to 146.7 million, the company said.

Vodafone counts subscribers in proportion to its holding in companies it does not wholly own. Organic growth, rather than growth through acquisitions, added 7.4 million customers in the period, up from a gain in the same period last year of 5.7 million.

Vodafone said it expects to deliver 10% growth in its customer base for the year ending 31 March 2005, resulting in high single-digit revenue growth. For the year to the end of March 2006, the company said it expects high single-digit growth in customers and revenues.

Laura Rohde writes for IDG News Service

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