Vodafone claims stable per-user revenue

Vodafone Group PLC is claiming stable financial performance in the six months ending Sept. 30, marking the halfway point in its fiscal year, though a full half-year report is not due until Nov. 13.

Vodafone reported Thursday a figure known as registered blended ARPU (average revenue per user), which combines sales figures from both prepaid and contract mobile phone customers.

In the U.K., registered blended ARPU was down slightly over the past 12 months, from 26 pounds (US$37) in October 2000 to 23 pounds last month, Vodafone said in a statement.

Comparable ARPU data for the previous year are not available, because the company only started tracking the figure in March, Investor Relations Manager Jon Earl said.

The company's German subsidiary D2 Vodafone AG showed a similar downward trend, with registered blended ARPU drifting from 32 euros (US$29) last October to 25 euros in September.

In Italy, however, registered blended ARPU for Omnitel Vodafone SpA was nearly unchanged over the year, from 28 euros last October to 27 euros in September.

The number of inactive customers stood at 10 percent in Vodafone's controlled subsidiaries as of Sept. 30, the company said, the same level as on June 30. Active customers are defined as those "who have made or received a chargeable event in the last three months," the company said.

Data services as a percentage of overall revenue were up for the year to Sept. 30, Vodafone said, at 9.1 percent. This divided out to 8.7 percent for messaging services and 0.4 percent for Internet services. The company did not cite a corresponding figure for the previous year.

Vodafone has 12.8 million registered customers in the U.K., 21.8 million in Germany, and 12.7 million in Italy, the latter calculated as Vodafone's share given its 76 percent stake in the Italian subsidiary.

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