Without a surge in subscribers at its Indian subsidiary and the weakness of the UK currency, Vodafone's Q3 results would have made for poor reading. The company coffers benefited considerably from the extra 2.1 million customers per month recruited by Vodafone India (bringing the total to just over 60m), but it was the dramatic slide in the value of the UK pound that chiefly allowed the company to report a Q3 turnover of £10.47 billion (a 14.3 per cent rise in headline revenues) for the quarter ending 31 December 2008.
Elsewhere, however, the group's established European operations, which account for 70 per cent of turnover, remained sluggish, with organic revenues easing by 1.4 per cent. Spain was particularly weak and the UK, where the company has 19.1 million customers, fell by 0.7 per cent. Turkey also suffered, with revenue tumbling 14.5 per cent in what is supposed to be a key growth country.
But, the company's African and Central European division increased revenues by nearly 7 per cent to £1.39 billion, helped by a strong performance from the South African business Vodacom. In the Asian, Pacific and Middle Easernt region revenues rose nearly 17 per cent to £1.51 billion, with 8 percentage points of the increase due to the inclusion of Vodafone's acquired business in India.
Vodafone also reported that data revenues in the UK grew by just over 30 per cent--a similar rate to the general industry rate of growth, and MVNOs and the sales of dongles were having a meaningful effect on results.
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