Vodafone shares soar on outlook boost

Shares in Vodafone have surged after the company swung to a half-year profit

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 per cent in morning trading on the London Stock Exchange, after it recorded a €1.2 billion (£1.1 billion) profit for the six months ending in September, up from a €5 billion (£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 per cent and 8 per cent to around 10 per cent.

It means the company is expecting annual earnings of between €14.75 billion (£13.15 billion) and €14.95 billion (£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 per cent to €23.08 billion (£20.58 billion) following the consolidation of its Vodafone Netherlands business and the creation of joint venture VodafoneZiggo.

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