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3G/HSPA

Vodafone Rakes in Data Revenues

Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) reported a near 50 percent increase in data revenues for the first half of its financial year and raised its full-year revenue and operating profit forecast.

Vodafone reported half-year revenues of £17 billion (US$35 billion), up 9 percent from the same period last fiscal year. The operator reported an operating profit of £5.2 billion ($11 billion).

Data revenues were up 48.8 percent to £967 million ($2 billion) in the first half of this year, accounting for 6 percent of Vodafone's total service revenues. The operator now has 21.4 million registered 3G devices.

Vodafone added 20.5 million subscribers in the first half of this year, bringing its total customer base to 241.5 million worldwide.

Based on its first-half results, Vodafone has raised its revenue and operating profit outlook for the full year. Full-year revenue is now expected to be in the range of £34.5 billion ($71 billion) to £35.1 billion ($73 billion), while adjusted operating profit will be between £9.5 billion ($20 billion) and £9.9 billion ($20.5 billion). These improvements reflect better operational performance and revenue generation.

However, Vodafone warned that Europe will continue to be competitive, with pricing and regulatory pressures affecting revenues and margins. (See EU Roaming Caps Closer to Reality and Carriers Cut Prices.)

But the operator has made some progress on adding fixed-line broadband to its services mix in Europe. Last month, Vodafone acquired Tele2 AB (Nasdaq: TLTO)'s fixed-line assets in Italy and Spain for $1.1 billion, which completed its goal of being able to deliver fixed-line broadband services in key European markets. (See VOD Gets Fixed in Italy & Spain.)

Vodafone's stock was up 7.3 pence, 4 percent, to 189.3 pence in early morning trading on the London Stock Exchange .

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung

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