Vodafone has reported a big increase in full year profits partly due to the increasing popularity of smartphones.Pre tax profits for the 12 months to the end of March were £9.5 billion, up almost 10% on the £8.7 billion recorded a year ago.
Revenue rose 3.2% to £45.9 billion, slightly higher than analysts had forecast.
The company said it was entering the new financial year in a “strong position” despite “challenging macroeconomic conditions”.
“Customers have adopted data services in increasing numbers, as smartphones proliferate and the tablet market begins to take off,” said chief executive Vittorio Colao.
He added that emerging market performance had been strong, while some European markets had seen signs of renewed growth.
Revenues from selling data to customers, which allows users to browse the internet and check emails on their phones, rose by 26%.
Revenues from emerging market customers rose by 12%.
The company, which has its headquarters in Newbury, gave an upbeat outlook for the coming year, but warned that markets in southern Europe remained “challenging”.
The group has been slimming down its international portfolio of joint ventures and recently sold stakes in Chinese and Japanese mobile operators.
Last month, Vodafone agreed to sell its 44% stake in the French mobile phone operator SFR to Vivendi for £6.9 billion.