Vodafone reported a workmanlike performance for the quarter to 31 December 2010, with strong revenue growth in India, Turkey, the UK and at Vodacom coupled with uninspiring results for Germany and Italy, and Spain disappointing as conditions “remain challenging” in the country. On a group level, the company reported a 3 percent increase in revenue to £11.89 billion, with service revenue increasing 2.1 percent to £10.96 billion. Reported service revenue in its core European businesses fell by 3.5 percent to £7.66 billion, while its Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific region saw 18.1 percent growth to £3.21 billion. Vittorio Colao, chief executive of Vodafone Group, said that “our performance has been driven by the effective execution of our strategy to strengthen our business and deliver growth, particularly in data services and emerging markets. The company was positive looking forward. It stated that its adjusted operating profit for the year is “now expected to be towards the upper end of the £11.8 billion–£12.2 billion range,” before the impact of the Verizon Wireless iPhone launch.
Data revenue for the group increased by 27.2 percent, as a result of higher smartphone penetration and data attach rates in Europe. It has launched tiered pricing plans in eight markets, and new smartphone roaming plans were launched in November 2010. On an annualised basis, data revenue now exceeds messaging revenue for the first time. Away from its core mobile business, Vodafone noted a 6 percent increase in revenue at its Vodafone Global Enterprise unit, and a 4.7 percent increase in fixed line revenue. Capital expenditure for the period was £1.5 billion, 14.5 percent higher year-on-year, mainly as a result of “timing issues.” The key drivers were India, where Vodafone is rolling out its 3G network, continued network enhancement in Turkey, investment in Vodacom’s South African mobile data infrastructure, and “continued capital expenditure in Europe to maintain superior network quality.”