Vodafone Slips, O2 up

Vodafone Ireland saw its pretax profit drop slightly in 2005. By contrast, O2 Ireland reported a 7.5% rise in its pretax earnings.

Vodafone earnings were just over a million euros down at €339.6m. The mobile operator is blaming writedowns on its 2G network and the abandonment of a technology project for the group.

Vodafone’s net turnover was also down, 14% lower at €1.2bn, but the company remained bullish. The fall has been attributed to the cessation of a number of activities including the British top-up business, which cost the Irish subsidiary around €300m. According to the firm, underlying turnover was up 9%.

Those sales reflect the strength of the Irish market. So do O2’s, where turnover reached €858m – 12.5% up on the 2004 figures. Gross profit for the year was €483m compared with €470m in 2004.

O2 added 32,000 net new customers in the final three months of last year to take its total to 1.6m.

New prepay customers provided 25,000 of the Q4 business, and prepay ARPU over the whole year was €360 – an increase of just €1 from the previous year. Post-pay ARPU, by contrast, was up €40 at €1,155.