Vodafone boosts mobile customers, ending long run of losses

Vodafone New Zealand, which bought phone company TelstraClear for $840 million last year, gained 19,000 mobile customers in the second quarter, snapping nine straight quarters when it shed clients.

Auckland-based Vodafone had 2.326 million mobile customers as at June 30, up from 2.307 million customers three months earlier, according to its London Stock Exchange-listed parent's quarterly result.

Vodafone amalgamated the former TelstraClear assets into the local holding company on March 31, including customers acquired with the purchase who already ran on the Vodafone network under a repackaged service.

The phone company's percentage of pre-paid customers fell to 64.4 percent from 66.7 percent at the end of the March quarter.

The global parent company's revenue from the Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific unit rose in the quarter, though those gains were offset by declines in Australia and New Zealand, it says.

The carrier has had to contend with increasing competition since 2degrees Mobile entered the market in 2009, grabbing one million customers in three years and eating into Vodafone and Telecom's dominance.

Vodafone NZ boosted annual profit 16 percent to $175 million in the 12 months ended March 31, 2012, from $151.5 million a year ago, even as revenue fell 4.3 percent to $1.62 billion, according to the last financial statements filed to the Companies Office.

That was better than what Vodafone foreshadowed a year earlier, when it said sales would fall $124 million and comprehensive income by $55 million after the Commerce Commission imposeda reduction in mobile termination rates, the fees carriers charge each other for ending a call on a rival network.


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