Vodafone increasingly confident after resilient first half

Different types of 4G, 5G and data radio relay antennas for mobile phone networks are pictured on a relay mast operated by Vodafone in Berlin, Germany

Vodafone Group, the world’s second largest mobile operator, said it was increasingly confident about its full-year performance after a “resilient” first half, despite underlying momentum being obscured by the impact of COVID-19.

Vodafone nudged up the target range for adjusted core earnings to between 14.4 billion euros (12.9 billion pounds) and 14.6 billion euros for its 2021 financial year, compared to 14.5 billion euros for the previous year.

For the six months to the end of September, its adjusted earnings fell by 1.9% to 7.0 billion euros on a 2.3% drop in group revenue to 21.4 billion euros, as the pandemic impacted roaming revenue and handset sales.

Chief Executive Nick Read said the results underlined “increased confidence” in the outlook and demonstrated progress in increasing customer loyalty, growing its fixed broadband base and delivering 5G efficiently through network sharing.

The slight upgrade to the outlook compared to a previous forecast for full-year core earnings to be “flat to slightly down” on the previous year, and analysts were forecasting on average 14.37 billion euros.

Vodafone also confirmed its full-year free cashflow guidance of at least 5 billion euros before spectrum and restructuring costs on Monday.

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