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Vodafone exceeds expectations with multibillion loss

Smaller than the last one, though

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Vodafone has recorded a loss of £3.3bn for the first half of this fiscal year, but still managed to beat analysts' expectations.

The gut-wrenchingly large loss was due to more writedowns in the first half of the year, the company says. Earlier this year, Vodafone recorded a record European corporate loss of £15bn, thanks to poor performances in Germany and Italy, whose effects are still being felt.

Despite all the negative numbers, the company did grow revenue some 4.1 per cent to £15.6bn for the period. Earnings before tax etc (EBITDA) stood at £6.24bn, beating forecasts of £6.08bn.

Falling turnover in the UK, Germany, and Italy was offset by growth in the US, the company said. Like-for-like, mobile revenues were up six per cent.

Voda CEO Arun Sarin said: "Competitive and regulatory pressures in the European region have been offset by strong performances in our developing markets and the United States. We have also made good progress since May in the execution of our new strategy and the response to our new products and services has been very encouraging."

After its distinctly unimpressive year end results for 2005/2006, the company announced a new strategy, under which it would consider offering landline-style calls on a mobile. It says some progress has been made on this path.

It has also announced an advertising deal with Yahoo!, which will see customers receiving advertising on their phones in exchange for free mobile TV, web browsing, and cheaper calls. This is likely to launch in the first half of next year. ®

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