Vodafone boosts full-year outlook

Vodafone has pushed up its profit forecast for the full year and has decided to sell off its Japanese operations.

Vodafone

Vodafone has bumped up its profit expectations for the full-year as the communications giant posted some positive results in its half-year results.

The provider now believes it will achieve between 11.8 billion and 12.2 billion operating profit, up from 11.2 billion and 12 billion.

For the six months leading up to September, Vodafone saw group revenue rise 3.9 per cent year-over-year to hit 22.6 billion.

Despite the positive results, European performance was not as strong as other regions, with service revenue falling 1.3 per cent.

Spain was noted as a particularly weak point when compared to continuing growth in the UK and German markets.

Vodafone also revealed it has agreed to sell its shares in Japanese telecoms firm SoftBank for a total of 3.1 billion.

The UK-based company received the shares when SoftBank bought Vodafone Japan in 2006.

The sale will take place in two phases, the first in December when SoftBank will pay 1.6 billion. The remaining 1.5 million is expected to be transferred in April 2012.

The news comes shortly after Vodafone sold its shares in China Mobile in September, as the UK company seeks to move away from areas where it holds minority stakes.

As part of a new strategy update, Vodafone said it will now focus heavily on Europe, Africa and India, where it will improve its already well-established data and voice networks.

"We have today announced an updated strategy, which positions Vodafone to realise further value from non-controlled assets, take full advantage of the most valuable telecommunications growth opportunities ahead and which will deliver sustainable revenue growth, stabilising margins and strong free cash flows," said Vittorio Colao, Vodafone group chief executive.

As for enterprise efforts, Vodafone said it will ramp up revenue in this sector with new services for the SME, small home and business, and corporate segments.

Last week, Vodafone launched its Smartphone Professional service, designed to protect business data on workers' mobile devices.

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