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There was a sting in the tail of Vodafone’s third-quarter results after it said that its full-year earnings would be at the lower end of the guidance range due to slower growth in Europe.

Overall organic service revenue growth for the quarter was a touch ahead of expectations at 1.7 per cent and the company maintained guidance for adjusted free cashflow of €4bn.

However it said that EBITDA would be at the bottom end of the 3 per cent to 6 per cent range.

One weak spot was India, where Vodafone has entered into talks to merge its business with smaller rival Idea Cellular to better face off competition from aggressive new market entrant Reliance Jio.

Revenue declined 5.5 per cent. Another was its home market of the UK where revenue dropped 3 per cent.

Vodafone said there were signs of improvement that the customer service issues that have plagued the business have been resolved but that price competition in its enterprise unit that serves businesses had hit its prospects.

Analysts at Exane BNP Paribas expect Vodafone’s stock to drop between 1 to 2 per cent at the start of Thursday’s trading.

Image via Reuters

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