Strong sales of smartphones, such as iPhone and Blackberry, as well as increased revenue and customer numbers, have helped Vodafone Australia finish the 08/09 financial year on a high.

Russel Hewitt, chief executive officer at Vodafone Australia, commented on the strong performance the company has had over the past year.

“Vodafone Australia closes the financial year on a high, enjoying excellent momentum having successfully traversed the toughest market conditions the telecommunications sector has seen in recent years,” he said.

“In recording consistent growth throughout the past 12 months, Vodafone Australia has demonstrated remarkable resilience, steadily building our customer base to more than 4.275 million and growing total revenue by 8.7 per cent.”

Hewitt also emphasised the strong growth in contract customers, with an increase of nearly 20 per cent year-on-year, and now accounts for 33 per cent of the company’s direct customer base. He said that this equates to almost 54 per cent of total service revenue.

But one of the main reasons for Vodafone’s strong result is the dramatic increase in consumers need for data services.

“Building on last year’s mobile broadband success story, this year, smartphones have pushed mobile data usage into the mainstream with consumers embracing the new generation of 3G-enabled smartphones, such as the Apple iPhone 3G and Blackberry Storm,” he said.

“The incredible popularity of these new, touch screen smartphones has significantly contributed to Vodafone’s non-TXT data revenues, increasing by nearly 159 per cent.”

Hewitt also commented on how this will only increase in the future, due to the company’s national network upgrade which will be completed throughout the year and deliver 3G broadband services to 94 per cent of Australia’s population.

“This has been a crucial strategic initiative and we expect our network investment to significantly boost data revenues over the coming financial year as more people access our 3G services,” he said.