Smartphones drive Vodafone profit growth

Vodafone published its annual results on Tuesday, showing a rise in profits that was largely down to a boost in data revenue.Group revenue for the year was up 3.

Vodafone published its annual results on Tuesday, showing a rise in profits that was largely down to a boost in data revenue.

Group revenue for the year was up 3.2 percent to £45.9bn, with group adjusted operating profit up 3.1 percent to £11.8bn. According to Vodafone chief Vittorio Colao, the company's network investments have paid off as people increasingly move from simple mobile phones to smartphones and tablets.

"Customers have adopted data services in increasing numbers, as smartphones proliferate and the tablet market begins to take off," Colao said. "Our network investment is becoming a key differentiator, as we are leading the migration to smartphones in most of our European operations."

According to Vodafone's results, data revenue was up 26.4 percent year-on-year to £5.1bn, representing 12 percent of all group service revenue.

The company noted — not for the first time — that dropping all-you-can-eat data deals in favour of tiered pricing was working out quite well for it. "At the same time, we are increasing the penetration of data tariffs within our base, with 48 percent of our European smartphone customers now taking some form of data plan," the statement added.