Cost cutting is keeping mobile phone network operator Vodafone on course to achieve this year’s financial targets. Delivering its Interim Management Statement for the quarter ending 30 June, 2008, the British mobile operator reported that group revenue grew by 19.1 per cent.

Vodafone said “continued focus on cost reduction” means the outlook for 2008 results is unchanged, with a slight improvement in the company’s operating profits now forecast to be £11.0 billion, down from a forecast £11.5bn.

Revenue for the year is now forecast to be £39.8bn to £40.7, due to the “recent economic weakness and lower than expected equipement revenue,” the company states.

“Not withstanding this more challenging operating environment, we continue to benefit from a diversity of assets and services,”outgoing chief executive Arun Sarin said. Revenues for the three months to June 2008 were £9.8bn, with group data revenue up by 50.6 per cent to £644 million. European revenues were up by 15.7 per cent due to the strength of foriegn exchanges.

UK service revenue increased by 2.1 per cent, globally the company added 8.5 million customers to its mobile phone and data services.

Sarin steps down as chief executive at the end of this month and will be replaced by Vittorio Colao, currently deputy CEO. Sarin has been leading Vodafone since July 2003 after a career as non-executive director and CEO of the US Vodafone operations. Sarin has pioneered the global reach of Vodafone, making it one of the most globally recognised British companies around today. In the last 12 months Vodafone acquired the major Indian mobile network Hutchinson Essar.

Coala was Italian and southern European CEO for Vodafone, before leaving the telecommunications sector to be CEO of RCS MediaGroup, an Italian publishing company. He rejoined Vodafone in 2006 as CEO of the European Vodafone operations.

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