Vodafone has raised its profits guidance for the second time in three months after seeing continued strong demand for smartphones in the UK.
The mobile phone giant expects operating profits for the year to March 31 at the upper end of the £11.8 billion to £12.2 billion forecast in November.
It has now achieved a fifth successive quarter of revenues growth, with strong results in emerging markets such as India accompanied by improved trading in its more mature markets, including the UK and Germany.
In its home market, service revenues grew by 7% in the quarter to £1.26 billion as a result of higher penetration of smartphones such as Apple’s iPhone and the take-up of mobile internet bundles.
The growth, which compared with a 5.2% rise in the previous quarter, came despite continued strong competition and weaker revenues in pre-paid phones.
At the start of last year, Vodafone became the third network to muscle into the iPhone market in the UK.
By November, around 19% of Vodafone’s customers in the UK were smartphone users, with 60% of them utilising the company’s data services.