Data drives Vodafone 4Q earnings

Data services drove strong earnings at Vodafone in calendar 4Q10, leading to predictions full year profits will come in at the high end of its forecast of £11.8 billion (€13.9 billion) to £12.2 billion.
Profit figures won’t be revealed until the firm issues full-year figures in late May, however a 3% rise in group revenues to £11.8 billion during the firm’s fiscal 3Q has prompted confidence in the full-year operating profit forecasts.
Services were the firm’s highest earner during the period, growing 2.1% to £10.96 billion –  the fifth successive quarterly rise -, narrowly beating analyst’s forecasts of £10.9 billion, noted.
Chief Vittorio Colao said the service revenue figures shows the firm is executing well on its strategy to “strengthen our businesses and deliver growth,” citing data revenues as a key contributor to the growth.
Strong sales of smartphones contributed to a 27% rise in data revenues, which at £5 billion in 4Q10 exceeded messaging revenue for the first time.
European revenues bear keeping an eye on, though, falling 1.9% overall during the period despite growth in Germany, UK, Netherlands and Turkey.

However, the results were enough to keep analysts happy, with Sanford Bernstein staffer Robin Bienestock telling the Journal the figures show Vodafone has a strong core market in Europe, and good opportunities in emerging markets.