Vodafone Group Plc (VOD) - Get Report shares rose to the top of the FTSE 100 Friday after the group posted stronger-than-expected service revenue growth for its fiscal first quarter Friday and reiterated its full-year sales guidance.
Vodafone said service revenues grew 2.2% on an organic basis to €10.282 billion ($11.9 billion) against an analyst forecast of 1.5% growth. Group revenue slipped 3.3% on a reported basis to €11.474 billion, the company said, but the figures in the current quarter exclude sale from Vodafone India following its merger with Idea Cellular earlier this year.
Vodafone shares gained 1.6% in the opening 30 minutes of trading in London to change hands at 228.17 pence each, extending their three-month gain to just under 15%, well ahead of the 1.2% advance booked for the Stoxx Europe 600 Telecommunications index.
"We have made a good start to the year in Europe, where our commercial momentum remains robust, and growth accelerated across AMAP. Although competition in India remains intense, service revenues stabilised compared with the prior quarter," said CEO VBittorio Colao. "Our substantial investments in network leadership, an excellent customer experience and even greater 'more-for-more' propositions for customers are enabling us to monetise strong demand for mobile data."
"We are gaining profitable market share in broadband, and a growing proportion of our customers now take our fully converged offers. Our world-leading Internet of Things platform contributed to another quarter of solid growth in Enterprise," he added. "In addition, we are executing our 'Fit for Growth' cost efficiency programme in line with our plans. Overall, this performance gives us confidence in reiterating our outlook for the year."