Telecommunications firm Vodafone has seen its customer base continue to rise in Ireland, despite last year seeing revenues fall.
The mobile phone firm’s annual figures, published yesterday, show a 4.2% drop in group revenue to almost £44.5bn (€53bn) for the 12 months to the end of March.
Difficult economic conditions in southern Europe and “an adverse European regulatory environment” hit revenues.
Adjusted operating profit however, rose by nearly 4% to £11.96bn; with group management targeting profits of between £12bn and £12.8bn for the current year.
Adjusted earnings per share for last year amounted to 10.19p — 7% up on the previous 12 months.
While Vodafone does not break-out financial figures for individual countries, the company said revenues for the northern and central Europe region rose by 2.8% to just under £19bn.
However, southern Europe suffered a 17% decline to just over £9.6bn.
In Ireland — where Vodafone is understood to have generated revenues of around €1.1bn in 2011 and 2012 — the most recent 12 month period saw the firm underline its status as market leader.
Total customer numbers, for Ireland, amounted to 2.41m, as of the end of March, with the period seeing a near 6% rise in the firm’s contract subscriber numbers, a 29.2% increase in smartphone customers, and a 4% rise in fixed-line clients.
“Vodafone performed well over the course of the year despite the challenging operating environment. Increased customer demand for data products and services was driven by its ongoing investment in network performance and its position as the best mobile data network in Ireland,” the company said regarding its business here.
Earlier this month, Vodafone Ireland — which was the biggest spender in the State’s 4G bandwidth auction last year — said it plans to begin the phased roll-out of its new fourth generation commercial services in the autumn, with Kilkenny set to be the geographic starting point for its network.
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