Vodafone profits rise 2.3 per cent

Telecoms company sees surge of 9.4 million new customers.

Vodafone has announced a 4.1 per cent rise in revenues as up to 9.4 million new customers sign up. In the last six months bosses report that total UK subscriptions have risen to almost 20 million. The news comes after competitor Everything Everywhere lost customers in recent months.

The global customer surge is notably based on strong growth in Germany, with India, Egypt, and the group's African subsidiary Vodacom showing large gains.

The continued popularity of text messaging and an increase in revenues from mobile internet usage also acted to bolster profits. Up to 22 per cent of the group's European customers are now said to be using smartphones, pushing up profits in this area by 27 per cent.

Chief executive, Vittorio Colao, said "Data represents the single biggest opportunity to Vodafone and the industry over the next few years, and we intend to continue to be at the forefront of stimulating data adoption among our customers."

He added: "We are gaining share in most of our major markets, through our focus on superior network quality and an improved customer experience. In addition, we are achieving sustained growth in the key areas of data, emerging markets and enterprise."

The profits boost comes a year after Vodafone was accused in some quaters of tax avoidence, after HMRC's permanent secretary for tax reportedly let the company off from a £6 billion bill.