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Smartphone mobe-data geeks still small potatoes

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Vodafone has been cutting costs and increasing profits, resulting in a top end-of-financial-year filing and confident predictions for the future, as long as voice minutes don't continue to decline.

The figures for the year ending March 31st show an annual net profit of £8.65bn for the whole Vodafone group, up from £3.08bn during the previous year. The results are better than Vodafone predicted in February, and much better than it was suggesting last May, thanks to a good start to 2010 and quick implementation of cost-cutting measures.

The profit was raised on a revenue of £44.47bn, up from £41.02bn the previous year. Vodafone is the world's largest mobile operator by revenue, though China Mobile has it beat on customer numbers - more than half a billion compared to Vodafone's still impressive 341 million.

Vodafone operates around the world, but much of the increased revenue is coming from developing markets, with the exception of India where increased competition has driven down revenue. Voice is still what the business is about - only 33 per cent of the company's revenue comes from anything other than mobile voice and a fair proportion of that will be text messages, so data is still small beer worldwide.

In the UK, where the company has been pursuing data users and high-end customers, revenue declined by 4.7 per cent over the year, though that decline was notably slower during the last three months. ®

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