Vodafone's full-year data revenues rose to £5.1bn, which is an increase of more than a quarter; in fact, data now accounts for more than 12% of total group revenues. Apparently, that was in part thanks to UK customers switching to packages with caps on data usage (rather than the unlimited packages they had before), and partly thanks to the humble iPad, which Vodafone thinks will become a ‘mass market device’ in the near future.
Abroad, the picture was more mixed: while emerging markets like Africa, the Middle East and Asia Pacific saw a 3.2% rise in revenues, to £45.9bn, things were looking shakier in Europe. Specifically, revenues in its ‘traditional’ mobile phone market (ie. phone calls – remember them?) are falling: in Spain, they were down by 10.6%, while in Italy, they dropped by 6%.
On top of this, Vodafone will suffer another hit to its top line when termination charges - the amount it charges other networks to connect calls - are abolished in the UK next year. So chances are that the company's results won't look quite as impressive in 2012. It certainly seems to think so: it has decided to lower guidance for its underlying profits to somewhere between £11bn and £11.8bn. Although that's hardly an amount to be sniffed at, we're sure you'll agree.