British mobile phone group Vodafone reported a better-than-expected 4.3 percent rise in core earnings in the first half of the year, helped by improving trading in big European markets like Germany and Italy. The world’s second biggest mobile operator reported earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of 7.9 billion euros, beating a 7.8 billion euro consensus forecast.
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Organic service revenue was up 2.4 percent in the second-quarter, unexpectedly ahead of the 2.2 percent recorded in the first quarter and ahead of consensus, it said on Tuesday.
Vodafone slightly lowered the top of its range for full-year earnings to 15.7 to 16.1 billion euros. The top limit was previously 16.2 billion euros.
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Chief Executive Vittorio Colao said the improvement in Europe was “modestly ahead” of expectations, led by Germany and Italy, and the group had executed its strategy well in emerging markets, although competition in India had increased.
“We expect to sustain our underlying performance in the second half of the year and remain on track to meet our full-year objectives despite macroeconomic uncertainties,” he said.
The three biggest players in the Indian market, leader Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and No.3 player Idea Cellular , are being challenged by new entrant Reliance Jio Infocomm, backed by businessman Mukesh Ambani.