Vodafone

(VOD) - Get Report

said Tuesday that its fiscal 2005 pretax profit inched up 3% from the prior year to about $19 billion while sales remained flat at $62.4 billion.

The company threw a scare into Wall Street, however, by guiding revenue and profitability estimates down for the current year. Vodafone said top-line growth could be as low as 6%, after previously estimating a gain in the high single digits.

On a basis of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, Vodafone put fiscal 2006 margin expansion at nothing to down 1%. It had previously forecast flat margins.

"Whilst competitive pressures are increasing, there is clear evidence that our global scale and scope is enabling us to deliver innovative customer propositions and to produce superior results," the company said in a statement.

Vodafone's 2004 results, which also included a 16% narrowing of its bottom line loss to $13.7 billion, were a little better than expected. The company also announced a $8.2 billion stock buyback and doubled its dividend.

Including its portion of various partnerships such as Verizon Wireless, Vodafone ended 2004 with 154.8 million subscribers, up 16.3 million from a year ago.