Vodafone’s shares surge as it reports ‘good commercial momentum’

The City of London skyline.  Shares in Vodafone have surged in value this morning. Photo Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
The City of London skyline. Shares in Vodafone have surged in value this morning. Photo Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
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Shares in Vodafone have surged after the telecoms giant swung to a half-year profit and upped its growth outlook despite pressures in its India business.

The firm was up 4% in morning trading on the London Stock Exchange, after it recorded a 1.2 billion euro (£1.1 billion) profit for the six months ending in September, up from a 5 billion euro (£4.5 billion) loss over the period last year.

The major boost came after the group booked a 5 billion euro (£4.5 billion) charge linked to its Indian operation during the six-month period in 2016.

In a double dose of cheer, Vodafone also hiked its full-year earnings growth targets from between 4% and 8% to around 10%.

It means the company is expecting annual earnings of between 14.75 billion euros (£13.15 billion) and 14.95 billion euros (£13.33 billion).

Group chief executive Vittorio Colao said competition in the India market was “intense”, but the group had “maintained good commercial momentum”.

He said: “Revenue grew organically in the majority of our markets driven by mobile data and our continued success as Europe’s fastest growing broadband provider.

“Enterprise revenues continue to grow, led by our Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud and Fixed services, and for the second year running we achieved an absolute reduction in our operating costs.

“As a result, we are able to report a strong financial performance, with substantial EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) margin expansion and profit growth, and we are raising our financial outlook for the year.”

Despite the profits swing, group revenue slipped 4.1% to 23.08 billion euros (£20.58 billion) following the consolidation of its Vodafone Netherlands business and the creation of joint venture VodafoneZiggo.

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