Vodafone raises profit forecast

City A.M. Reporter
Strong demand in India and improving conditions in Europe helped Vodafone, the world's largest mobile operator by revenue, to post higher third-quarter service revenues and nudge up its profit forecast for the year.

The British-based firm said it now expected adjusted operating profit for the year to end-March to be towards the upper end of its previously stated £11.8bn ($19.13m) to £12.2bn range. The rest of the outlook was unchanged.

The improved outlook followed solid trading in the third quarter, with strong growth in India and Turkey and improvements in Britain, Germany and South Africa.

Trading stabilised in Italy but remained challenging in Spain, where Vodafone has been hurt by the economic downturn and the loss of migrant construction workers.

The United States, where Vodafone has a joint venture with partner Verizon, enjoyed strong customer demand.

The improved performance boosted group service revenue 2.5 per cent to £11bn, compared with a Reuters poll forecasting 10.9 billion pounds.

Service revenue at the Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific division was up 9.3 per cent on an organic basis, while European service revenue was up 0.2 per cent.

The group posted total revenues up 3.5 per cent organically to £11.89bn

"This is the fifth successive quarter of service revenue growth improvement, with strong results from India, Turkey, the UK and Vodacom," Chief Executive Vittorio Colao said.