Strong growth in emerging markets lifted Vodafone to its sixth consecutive quarter of improving sales.
Vodafone reported group organic service revenue up by 1.4 per cent to £10.3bn in the quarter ending 31 December 2015, up from 1.2 per cent the previous quarter.
Sales in Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific were especially booming, expanding by 6.5 per cent over the quarter.
Meanwhile, European sales were down 0.6 per cent in the same period.
Vodafone expects to be on track for full year earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation between £11.7bn and £12bn.
The firm's stock rose 0.92 per cent in early trading to 214.85.
Why it’s interesting
Today’s healthy results, which mark the telco heavyweight’s sixth consecutive quarter of accelerating sales growth, were fuelled largely by rapid expansion in emerging markets.
The firm outperformed analysts’ expectations in these regions, according to Will Draper at Mirabaud Securities, whilst underperforming in Europe.
“Overall though, trends in Europe are improving slowly and trends in Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific are flat. This is consistent with our modelling assumptions,” he said.
Vodafone’s results come just days after the firm finally confirmed the rumours about its talks with Liberty Global, as the two discuss a possible merger of their Dutch assets.
What they said
Chief executive Vittorio Colao said:
Customers are increasingly recognising the quality of our networks, leading to strong growth in data usage and benefiting from the significant investments in 4G and fibre that we have made over the last two years.
We continue to face regulatory and competitive challenges in many markets, but we are confident that the business is well positioned for the growth opportunities ahead.