Vodafone shares soar on outlook boost

"In the first half of the year we have maintained good commercial momentum", said Vittorio Colao, Vodafone Group Chief Executive.

Adjusted earnings per share from continued operations increased 54.9 percent to 6.32 euro cents.

The world's second-largest mobile carrier by subscribers said in the six months ended September 30 that it made a pretax profit of 2.16 billion euros ($2.52 billion), up 55% on the same period a year earlier.

Excluding the impact of net roaming declines in Europe and the benefits in the United Kingdom from the introduction of handset financing and regulatory settlements, organic adjusted EBITDA increased 9.3%. Organic revenue growth was 3.1 percent.

Vodafone had taken an impairment of 5.0 billion euros on its Indian activities in the first half of 2016.

However, Vodafone also said that competition in India remained intense, with service revenue declining 15.8% due to intense price competition.

Vodafone Ireland said its overall customer base grew by 4,000 in the quarter, with the company now serving 265,400 fixed broadband customers.

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"In the second half of the year we will continue to implement our strategic initiatives, including fibre infrastructure expansion in Germany, Portugal and the United Kingdom; our entry into the consumer IoT market with the launch of "V by Vodafone"; and the "Digital Vodafone" programme created to enhance our customers' experience, increasing revenues and cost efficiency".

Colao added that in the second half of the year the company will continue to implement strategic initiatives, including fibre infrastructure expansion in Germany, Portugal and the United Kingdom along with its entry into the consumer internet of things (IoT) market.

"There are however signs of positive developments in the Indian market, with consolidation of smaller operators and recent price increases from the new entrant". The company noted that its merger with Idea Cellular is progressing well.

Vodafone, the world's second-largest mobile operator, raised its full-year earnings growth forecast to 10 percent on Tuesday as its customers used more mobile data on their smartphones rather than looking for wifi.

FCF pre-spectrum is expected to exceed 5 billion euros, which was previously guided to be around 5 billion euros.

Vodafone said its increased forecast, which implies core earnings of 14.75-14.95 billion euros, reflected stronger-than-expected underlying revenue growth in Europe and a later-than-anticipated launch of a new entrant in Italy.

Shares in Vodafone were trading up 5 percent at 1005 GMT, having earlier hit a three month high of 227.50 pence.

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