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Vodafone interim sales jumped 67 per cent, thanks to a first-time contribution from its now wholly owned Japanese subsidiary. On an operating level, the world's biggest mobile network operator remains very profitable, generating £4.25bn in Earnings Before Bad Stuff, and cranking up free cashflow to £2.9bn in the six months to September 30.

But there is the goodwill amortisation bog of Bad Stuff to wade through - £6.8bn this time around dragging net losses down to £4.34bn.Peanuts, considering that Vodafone produced losses of £9.74bn in the first half last year. Net debt was reduced during the period by 11 per cent to £10.7bn.

Vodafone reported climbing ARPU (average revenue per users) in some key markets - it quotes percentages but it does not say by how much. Non-voice revenues - essentially SMS at this time, accounted for 13.2 per cent of service turnover. The company last week launched Vodafone Live! a consumer portal, and is prepping a service called Vodafone Remote Access for corporate road warriors.

Vodafone ended the financial period with 107.5 million "proportionate registered customers", compared with compared with 101.1 million, recorded 12 months earlier. ®'

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