Vittorio Colao said Vodafone had been impacted by difficult conditions in Southern Europe

Vodafone has announced a loss of £1.89bn for the six months to the end of September 2012 on the back of write downs for its Spanish and Italian operations totaling £5.9bn. The international operator recorded a profit of £6.64bn for the same period in 2011 and chief executive Vittorio Colao said the 1H12 results reflected “tougher market conditions, mainly in Southern Europe”.

Group revenue was down 7.4 per cent year on year to £21.8bn but the drop in Southern Europe was more pronounced at 18.1 per cent. Northern Europe saw revenue drop by two per cent, while Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific revenues were down by 5.1 per cent.

Vodafone reported that non-voice services now account for 65 per cent of revenues, with data revenue in the year to end March 2012 up £2.2bn since 2010 to £6.2bn. 30.7 per cent of the firm’s European customers are smartphone users, compared to 14.5 per cent in September 2010.

“We remain very positive about the longer-term opportunities, and our Vodafone 2015 strategy reflects our confidence in the future,” said Colao in a statement. “This is based on a new strategic approach to our consumer offer and pricing in Europe now being rolled out, an increasing focus on unified communications in enterprise, and an attractive and growing exposure to emerging markets.”

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