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Vodafone hits 150m customers

Punters up, ARPU down

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Vodafone gained 5.4m customers in the last quarter of 2004 ended 31 December. The mobile giant now has 151.8m customers across the world.

It gained 3.9m Vodafone live! customers, giving a global total of 28.3m.

In a trading updated today, Arun Sarin, Vodafone chief executive, trumpeted "another impressive quarter for customer and revenue growth. We have seen consistently strong performances across Europe and in the US, whilst we continue to focus on our turnaround in Japan."

In the UK Vodafone has 15.2m customers, up nine per cent on last year. But average revenue per user (ARPU) fell to £314 from £318 in Q3. The firm blames the fall on call termination charges in September for the shortfall. But growth in subscriber numbers offset falling ARPU.

Japan remains a problem - Vodafone pledged to "continue to focus on executing a successful turnaround programme in Japan throughout 2005 and into 2006." Vodafone has 14.8m customers in Japan, an increase of 36,000 in the quarter. Customer churn was stable but ARPU fell to £387.53 (Y75,133) from £395.0 (Y76,590) in September 2004. Vodafone blamed the competitive environment, increased market penetration and growth in prepaid customers for the fall.

Press release here (pdf). ®

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Vodafone dividend doubled, shares up

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