Vodafone Group plc Raises Interim Dividend By 8% To Yield 4.5%

Shares in Vodafone (LSE: VOD) (NASDAQ: VOD.US) were largely unmoved in early trade this morning, following the release of the group’s results for the six months ended 30 September 2013.

The half-yearly report revealed that at £22.03bn, reported group revenue increased by 1.2% on a management basis but fell by 3.2% organically. Europe weighed heavily on the service revenue figures, although management found reasons to be cheerful from the performance in Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific.

Elsewhere in the results, Vodafone confirmed that it was lifting its interim dividend by 8% to 3.53p and announced its intention to pay a full-year dividend of 11p. $84bn is still expected to be returned to shareholders following the sale of Verizon Wireless, too.

Vittorio Colao, Group Chief Executive, commented:

“Whilst trading conditions in Europe remain very tough at present, we are encouraged by the forecast return to economic growth over the next two years and the potential for a shift in regulatory focus to support greater industry investment and consolidation.

“We have continued to make good progress in delivering our long-term strategy. Our emerging markets businesses are performing very well, driven by rapidly increasing smartphone penetration and data usage. In mature markets, our performance reflects more challenging conditions, which we continue to mitigate through ongoing actions to improve our operating model and cost efficiency. This rigorous approach, plus our substantial investments in Vodafone Red, 4G and unified communications services – including our recent acquisition of Kabel Deutschland – are laying strong foundations for the future. Our Project Spring organic investment programme – now increased to £7 billion – will accelerate further our plans to establish stronger network and service differentiation for our customers.

“The pending US$130 billion US transaction will reward our shareholders for their long-term support of our strategy and will provide us with a strong balance sheet, improved dividend cover and the financial and strategic flexibility to make further investments in the business or returns to shareholders in the future.”

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> Sam owns shares in Vodafone. The Motley Fool has recommended shares in Vodafone.