Vodafone Lowers Revenue Outlook as Profit Drops

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Vodafone Group has once again decided to cut its revenue outlook, the company said as it announced half-year results on Tuesday.

The operator now expects now expects full-year revenues for its whole group to be between £38.8 billion pounds ($60.7 billion) and £39.7 billion, even lower than its July forecast.

For a six-month period through Sept. 30, group revenue was £19.9 billion, an increase of 17.1 percent compared to the same period in 2007. A large part of the growth is due to foreign currency benefits, according to Vodafone. Organic growth, which excludes acquisitions, for example, was 0.9 percent.

Operating profit decreased to £4.1 billion, compared to £5.2 billion for the same period in the prior year.

Economic conditions are expected to continue to be challenging in Europe because of ongoing competitive and regulatory pressures, Vodafone said. Recent economic conditions in certain markets will also play a part, according to Vodafone. The U.K. is one market where Vodafone has underperformed, but the company said "appropriate actions" have been put in place to change that.

Like so many others in the telecom industry, Vodafone is now looking to cut costs and has put in place a number of programs to reduce costs by about £1 billion per year by the 2011 financial year, according to a statement.

Despite a weaker macroeconomic environment, Vodafone still sees growth opportunities in the areas of mobile data, enterprise and broadband. But the penetration of devices that use data services is still relatively low in Europe and almost nonexistent in emerging markets, according to Vodafone.

Vodafone will also continue to push in key emerging markets, in particular in India, Turkey and Africa following Vodafone's recent agreement to acquire a larger stake in Vodacom, one of the largest African mobile providers.

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