Daily Management Review

Following 'Solid' First Half, Its Free Cash Flow Forecast Raised By Vodafone


Following 'Solid' First Half, Its Free Cash Flow Forecast Raised By Vodafone
Following the growth of first half profits that beat estimates of analysts, its free cash flow forecast were increased by the mobile operator Vodafone because of strong performance in its largest market Germany.
The news pushed the stocks of the company by as much as 6 per cent while it has fallen by about 15 per cent since the beginning of the current financial year.
The base of its full-year earnings guidance was increased to 15.2 billion euros ($17.3 billion) from 15.0 billion euros by the British company while maintaining the top at 15.4 billion. It also increased its target for free cash flow by 100 million euros to at least 5.3 billion euros.
Vodafone had "solid commercial momentum", the company’s Chief Executive Nick Read said.
"Our strengthened performance in Africa and Europe puts us on track to be at the top end of our guidance for this year, as well as firmly within our medium-term financial ambitions," he said.
Vodafone reported a 5 per cent increase in overall revenue to 22.5 billion euros in the six months ending in September, mainly because of higher service income in Europe and Africa, as well as a rebound in phone sales following the Covid-19 interruption last year.
Organic service revenue increased in Germany and the United Kingdom, but decreased in Italy and sank in Spain after first-quarter growth slowed in the second.
In countries such as Spain, Italy, and Portugal, there was a need for consolidation as "all players were struggling," Read said.
"I definitely feel consolidating from five to four is very logical without any punitive remedies," he told reporters, and added that the company was to that end talking to the European Commission and member states as well as Britain and countries in Africa where it operates.
He also stated that the company was looking for industrial merger options for its Vantage Towers infrastructure spin-off, which would result in the company selling its majority share.
Analysts are expected to revise their projections upward. According to a company-compiled consensus, they predicted Vodafone to earn 15.2 billion euros this year and produce 5.23 billion euros in cash flow.