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Vodafone writes off £5.9bn

Spanish practises cost dear

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Data and India saved the day at Vodafone, which is writing off £5.9bn, mainly due to problems in Spain.

For the year ended 31 March 2009 Vodafone made revenues of £41bn, up 1.3 per cent after favourable currency movements. Europe was up 13.6 per cent, Africa and central Europe up 11.2 per cent, while Asia Pacific and Middle East revenue jumped 32.3 per cent - mainly thanks to India. Operating profit was £11.8bn.

The mobile giant has speeded up its cost cutting programme and expects to achieve 65 per cent of planned £1bn savings in 2010.

Vittorio Colao, chief executive of Vodafone, said the results showed the firm had taken the right action at the right time, and he highlighted the £1bn in revenue from data.

In the UK service revenue fell 1.1 per cent, thanks to competitive pressure on voice revenues, although wholesale revenue, mainly ASDA and Lebara, grew.

Average monthly mobile revenue per user in the quarter was £20.80 in the UK, versus £21.60 in the same quarter of 2008. Germany was down to £15.70 compared to £16.90 in 2008.

Net debt is up to £34bn, mainly because of currency movements.

For the year Vodafone is hoping for adjusted operating profit of between £11bn and £11.8bn - the big spread reflects economic uncertainty.

The full figures are here. ®

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