Vodafone Cranks Up Customers Ahead Of Battle With Optus

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Vodafone who are set to take on Optus for the #2 carrier slot with the roll out of a new 3G network next year said that they have added 84,000 new customers in the past six months. A big chunk of these are believed to be iPhone consumers.

Vodafone who are set to take on Optus for the #2 carrier slot with the roll out of a new 3G network next year said that they have added 84,000 new customers in the past six months. A big chunk of these are believed to be iPhone consumers.

The mobile phone company said revenue grew by 7.4 per cent in the first half of its trading year, compared to the corresponding period last year. But Vodafone’s British-based parent reported a fall in operating profit of 25.4 per cent in its Australia and New Zealand operations in the first half.

This was “predominantly due to the performance in Australia”, Vodafone Group plc said, due to an increase in loss provision for a prepaid recharge vendor, higher customer costs due to increased competition and higher handset subsidies. Chief executive Russell Hewitt said Vodafone was in good shape heading into the second half of the financial year.

“Despite a challenging economic climate, Vodafone has maintained growth in the Australian market,” he said in a statement. Vodafone has its best range of products and services and a strong retail presence heading into the Christmas trading period, Mr Hewitt said.

“We’re in great shape at the turn and our customers can count on another fantastic Christmas,” he said. Vodafone had a 23.1 per cent increase in contract customers in the first half, bringing the proportion of contract costumers to 31.7 per cent of its total.

Contract customers contribute over 50 per cent of revenue, the company said. Revenue from non-SMS data grew by 144 per cent in the first half compared to last year, it said.

Vodafone Group plc downgraded its outlook after reporting a 35 per cent drop in net profit. It said it planned to cut costs by about STG1 billion ($A2.34 billion) annually from 2011.

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