Vodafone edged its full-year outlook higher yesterday as growth in emerging markets and robust trading in northern Europe helped the world’s largest mobile operator to post first-half results ahead of forecasts.
The results were boosted by strong growth in India and robust performances in Germany and Britain. Growth in Turkey inevitably slowed, but remained solid.
However, the group showed that it was still facing tough conditions in Italy, where organic service revenue fell 3 percent in the second quarter from down 1.5 percent in the first, and Spain, where it has struggled in a weak economy for several years.
Service revenue was slightly improved in Spain, but it was still down 9.3 percent in the second quarter from down 9.9 percent in the first.
The company took an impairment loss of ￡450 million (US$723 million) in relation to Vodafone Greece.
It moved its outlook for full-year adjusted operating profit to the top end of its range, predicting profits of between ￡11.4 billion and ￡11.8 billion compared with an earlier forecast of ￡11 billion to ￡11.8 billion.
The group posted first-half revenue up 4.1 percent to ￡23.5 billion and core earnings up 2.3 percent to ￡7.5 billion. Analysts had been expecting group revenue at ￡23.4 billion and earnings at ￡7.4 billion.