Vodafone Group (NASDAQ:VOD), the telecommunications company in Europe and Africa, increased its free cash flow forecast on Tuesday after it reported better-than-expected growth in earnings in its first half.
The UK-based company reported a fall in pretax profit for the first half of fiscal 2022 but raised its guidance for the full year. It said that pretax profit for the six months to September, 30 was 1.28 billion euros ($1.45 billion) compared with €2.05 billion a year earlier.
Vodafone’s revenue for the period was 2.0% ahead of consensus, and EBITDA growth improved 6.5%. Growth was largely driven by good performance in its largest market, Germany, service revenue growth, and recovery in handset sales following the recovery of Covid-19 disruptions, which should be enough to address market concerns.
While organic service revenue grew in both Germany and Britain, the company faces key tests in Spain and Italy as tougher comparatives lay ahead in the coming quarters, according to analysts at the US Bank.
“Although cash flow from operations is up by 7.4% compared to 1H21, leverage and cash flow figures for the first half are a bit disappointing.”
However, with its CEO looking for the next step for Vantage and options to improve in key markets, significant value should be unlocked, especially when considering how undervalued the company is.
Vodafone raised its full-year adjusted EBITDA guidance to between €15.2 billion and €15.4 billion from between €15 billion and €15.4 billion, as guided on July 23.
Chief Executive Nick Rick 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.”
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