Booming profits can't counter Vodafone's massive loss

And Gent vows the end of cheap calls is nigh...

And Gent vows the end of cheap calls is nigh...

Vodafone, the world's largest mobile operator, today announced booming revenue and operating profits coupled with a whopping £9.76bn loss. The company warned that the days of the cheap mobile calls are over. Chris Gent, Vodafone CEO, said: "Since Christmas we have started taking out the subsidy on pre-paid mobiles and concentrated on higher-margin customers. That's why these figures are better than expected. Over the next couple of years we will really see revenue from data services start to take off." The company said that it will use its own funds to finance the £10bn cost of rolling out 3G services, starting this autumn with GPRS. About 20 per cent of its £5bn capital spending this year will be on 3G. Revenue was up 29 per cent on last year to £21.4bn and operating profits were up 26 per cent to £5bn with pre-tax earnings up 28 per cent to £7bn. These were the first results to include figures from Mannesmann, Vodafone's £113bn takeover. The company wrote off £11.9bn of goodwill on its acquisitions of Mannesmann in Germany and AirTouch in the US. As of 31 March 2001, its debt is £6.7bn. Vodafone doubled its customer numbers to 83 million during the year. Its total customer base, including companies controlled by or invested in by Vodafone, stands at over 185 million. Vodafone's Chris Gent features in silicon.com's Agenda Setters 2001. To find out more, visit http://www.silicon.com/as2001