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Vodafone, the Big Daddy of cellcos, increased revenue by six per cent for the six months ended 30 September 2004. Group turnover was £16.8bn, an organic growth of six per cent. The firm gained 7.4m customers in the period giving it 146.7m customers in total. It has sold 323,000 datacards to date.

Group operating profit for the period, excluding exceptional items, was £5.7bn or five per cent organic growth at constant exchange rates. Including goodwill amortisation and exceptional items Vodafone Group lost £1.6bn. Vodafone is increasing the size of its share buyback programme from £3bn to £4bn. It is doubling the size of its annual dividend to 1.91p per share. Weak performance in Japan continues to drag down results. Vodafone increased its stake in its Japan subsidiary from 28.5 per cent to 98.2 per cent at a cost of £2.4bn.

Vodafone sold 83.7bn minutes of mobile voice time in the period. Non-voice revenues made up 16.4 per cent of total service revenues.

Arun Sarin, Vodafone's chief executive, said: "We have recently launched a compelling set of new services on our 3G platform in 13 markets with a wide range of industry leading new handsets. With new and attractive pricing for both data and voice services, Vodafone is delivering on its promise to delight the customer...

"We expect 3G to deliver a material benefit to our business over time and are targeting more than 10 million Vodafone live! with 3G customers in our controlled operations by the end of March 2006."

Looking forward, Vodafone expects organic growth of around ten per cent in average proportionate mobile customers, giving high single digit growth in mobile revenue compared to last year. Declining interconnect rates and 3G investments mean mobile margins will decline slightly.

More information at Vodafone. ®

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