Vodafone raises year forecasts after solid H1

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LONDON, Nov 13 (Reuters) British-based mobile phone giant Vodafone Group Plc on Tuesday raised forecasts for full year operating profit, sales and cashflow after a solid set of half year results topped consensus expectations.

Vodafone, the largest cell phone group in the world by revenue, forecast adjusted operating profit of 9.5 billion to 9.9 billion on revenues of 34.5 billion to 35.1 billion on the back of strong emerging markets and stable European growth.

The company, which also raised free cashflow forecasts to between 4.4 billion and 4.9 billion, had previously forecast revenues in the year to March 2008 of 33.3 billion to 34.1 billion, with operating profit of 9.3-9.8 billion and free cashflow of 4.0-4.5 billion.

Posting first half earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 6.565 billion and operating profit of 5.2 billion on revenues of 17 billion, topping consenus expectations, Vodafone also raised half year dividends by six per cent to 2.49 pence.

Analysts had expected half year EBITDA of 6.4 billion pounds, operating profits of 4.95 billion on revenues of 16.85 billion pounds on average. Dividends had been tipped to come in at around 2.4-2.5 pence per share.

REUTERS SLD KP1304

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