Vodafone to announce £3.9bn profit

Mobile phone giant Vodafone was today poised to unveil full-year pre-tax profits of £3.9bn after a period of rapid growth worldwide.

Mobile phone giant Vodafone was today poised to unveil full-year pre-tax profits of £3.9bn after a period of rapid growth worldwide.

One of the biggest stocks on the FTSE-100 Index has pulled off a series of major deals since unveiling pre-tax profits of £2.5bn last year.

The Newbury-based group has invested heavily in creating a global presence, buying out rival British Telecom’s stakes in companies in Japan and Spain for £4.8bn earlier this month.

Investors will want an update today on how Vodafone intends to revive its flagging share price.

The stock has fallen from 300p a year ago to 195¼p because so many shares have been issued to pay for the acquisitions.

One of the key issues for the group, and its chief executive Chris Gent, will be how to achieve more deals without depressing the share price further.

There will also be concerns today over future revenue generation as the mobile phone market appears to have reached saturation point.

Peter Caldwell, of Gerrard stockbrokers, said: ‘‘The focus will be on the prospects for growth in data revenues to add to voice growth. The main driver to data usage will come from new technology.’’

Last month, Vodafone said it had successfully made the first phone call over its third generation mobile phone network.

The ‘‘live voice’’ call, claimed by Vodafone to be the first in the UK, wasmade using the company’s 3G network in the Thames Valley.

Earlier this year, it said it had seen its customer base grow by 50% over the previous year, gaining more than 30 million customers in the year to March 31 across its various worldwide operations.

Vodafone believes its decision to focus on margin improvement, customer retention and cash-flow growth rather than overall market share was helping to boost its overall performance.

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