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Vodafone's India biz revenues jump 50 pc in FY'08

Vodafone's India announces a 14.1 per cent jump in the group's revenues to 35.5 billion pounds, observing a strong growth of over 50 pc.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, London
UPDATED ON MAY 27, 2008 02:54 PM IST

British telecom giant Vodafone on Tuesday announced a 14.1 per cent jump in the group's revenues to 35.5 billion pounds with its India business delivering a strong growth of over 50 per cent during the year ended March 31.

The group posted an increase of 14.1 per cent in the revenues with an organic growth of 4.2 per cent in the year ended March 31, 2008, a company statement said.

Vodafone Group's adjusted operating profit increased 5.7 per cent to 10.1 billion pounds, while its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) grew 10.2 per cent to 13.2 billion pounds in 2007-08.

Vodafone has over 260 million proportionate mobile customers worldwide with strong growth during the year in the Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Pacific (EMAPA) region.

In particular, in Vodafone's new business in India, which has been successfully integrated into the group and now has over 44 million customers, with over 50 per cent pro forma revenue growth.

"Our existing emerging market assets continue to perform well. Vodafone Essar in India is delivering very strong growth and performing in line with our acquisition plan. Revenues increased by 50 per cent during the year driven by rapid expansion of the customer base with an average of 1.5 million net additions per month since acquisition," Vodafone CEO Arun Sarin said in a statement.

We have also established an independent tower company with two other operators to drive further strong, cost efficient growth, Sarin added.

We invested 5.1 billion pounds in capitalised fixed asset additions, including one billion pound in our operations in India, in line with our plans, to support the rapid growth, Sarin added.

The group's revenues from the EMAPA region grew 45.1 per cent in the year ended March 31, reflecting acquisitions in India and Turkey and include organic growth of 14.5 per cent.

In its outlook for the current financial year, the group expects the revenues to be in the range of 39.8-40.7 billion pounds. The group also said that its geographically diverse portfolio should provide some resilience in the current economic environment.

"The group continues to drive revenue growth, mainly in respect of its total communications strategy for data and fixed broadband services and in emerging markets. Revenue includes the first full year post acquisition of India and the Tele2 businesses in Italy and Spain, " the statement said.

In addition to the strong customer growth, the group is differentiating through a number of initiatives and is leveraging the group's scale to provide low cost handsets, which retail for as little as 20 dollar.

"We have already shipped seven million handsets in the year, mostly to India, making us the second largest supplier of handsets there," Sarin said.

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