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Payday loans firms to shut as new caps bite — business live …

Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the financial markets, the world economy, business and the eurozone.

Vodafone has got the morning rolling with a reminder that Europe’s weaker countries remain a tough place to operate.

But the mobile giant has also cheered the City by raising its profit forecasts; good news for millions of small shareholders.

In its latest financial results, Vodafone reports that it suffered “continued revenue declines in Europe”, particularly in areas hit hard by the eurozone crisis.

Service revenue across Europe fell by 7.1% in the six months to the end of September. That included a 13% in service revenues in Italy in the first half of the year, and 12.4% in Spain — where underlying profits slumped by over 40%.

Here’s the key details:

Vodafone results, November 11 2014
Photograph: Vodafone

Vodafone blamed “ongoing pressures from competition, regulation and weak economies” in Europe.

There are signs that the slump may be bottoming out — revenues in the last three months were ‘only’ down by 9.7% in Italy, and by 9.3% in Spain.

Chief executive Vittorio Colao claims that conditions are improving:

“We have made encouraging progress during the quarter.

There is growing evidence of stabilisation in a number of our European markets, supported by improvements in our commercial execution and very strong demand for data.

And Vodafone has raised its forecast for underlying earnings this year, to between £11.6bn and £11.9bn, from £11.4bn-£11.9bn previously.

But still, the situation in Southern Europe remains concerning, as Bloomberg’s Jonathan Ferro explains.

More to follow….

Taken from:
Payday loans firms to shut as new caps bite — business live …

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