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Vodafone squirrels cash into Blighty nightly as Europe falters

Spain, Italy disappointing - Turkey, India a pleasant surprise

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Vodafone's numbers for the tail-end of 2011 show the network doing pretty well, though it admitted husbanding cash back to the UK nightly just to be on the safe side.

It won’t surprise anyone that trading in Italy and Spain has been a bit grim lately, and Vodafone hasn't broken the figures out for Greece but it has pulled out of merger talks with Greek telco Wind Hellas in the region. But things are a bit more optimistic in India and other developing markets, leading to numbers just shy of expectations but not enough to knock the year-end forecasts.

Vodafone's year ends with April, so these aren't full-year figures, just a statement of account for the third quarter of the year.

UK revenue was slightly up, by 1.1 per cent to £1.27bn – thanks to all those smartphones needing more data. Revenue from Germany was also up, but by less than a single percentage. That was more than offset by drops of 8.8 per cent in Spain and 4.9 per cent in Italy, with CEO Vittorio Colao predicting that Italy won't follow Spain's example.

Turkey saw the biggest growth, with revenue up 23.5 per cent, but Vodafone's operations in India increased by 20 per cent – and that was before a load of competitors had their 2G licences stripped from them.

But the financial instability is concerning the company, which admits to shifting spare cash back to the UK each night for safe-keeping, which seems a reassuring thought. ®

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