Vodafone rings a profit

Beats the Street and everything...
Written by John Oates, Contributor

Beats the Street and everything...

Vodafone has increased profits by 46 per cent making £4.8bn for the six months ended 30 September. The news pleased investors and beat estimates. Turnover increased 27 per cent to £8.9bn. Customer numbers increased 15 per cent to 95.6m. Sir Chris Gent, chief executive of Vodafone, said in a statement: "These results show excellent financial performance with robust growth in EBITDA, operating profit, and earnings per share, improved margins and strong cash flow generation. This growth in all respects is better than we expected following the realignments to our strategy announced earlier this year." In the UK Vodafone has 12.8 million customers, 4.6 million of whom are contract customers. It gained 337 000 new contract customers over the six months. Crucially, however, average revenue per user (ARPU) - the amount of cash operators can squeeze from customers - fell during the period. For the 12 months to 30 September 2001 ARPU fell to £535 from £550. Vodafone blamed higher value prepaid customers moving onto contracts and price cuts in the second half of 2000. Average cost of connection also fell during the period. Pre-paid ARPU also fell from £156 for the year ended 31 March 2001 to £139 for the year ended 30 September 2001.
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