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SHOULD THE MARKET BE ENCOURAGED BY VODAFONE'S RESULTS?

<strong>JONATHAN GROOCOCK </strong> INVESTEC<br />Narrowing declines in Europe margins may indicate some stabilisation, and free cash flow is marginally stronger than forecast. Guidance looks conservative, and we expect to upgrade earnings per share forecasts by around three to five per cent. Vodafone is clearly on-track to deliver.<br /><strong><br />MORTEN SINGLETON </strong>COLLINS STEWARTThere was headline operational weakness, but the &pound;4bn interim free cash flow looks reasonably strong. Management looks to be doing well in controlling the levers it can to sustain performance in spite of the cyclical and structural issues, which remain entrenched.<br /><br /><strong>AKEITH BOWMAN </strong> HARGREAVES LANSDOWN<br />Whilst the results have broadly met expectations, a continued dependency on cost-cutting measures fails to truly inspire. Pressure on the group&rsquo;s customer base remains evident, particularly in Europe, while the company has to date failed to capitalise on innovative gadget launches.