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LONDON - Vodafone reported organic service revenue growth of 0.8% in the third quarter on Wednesday, an uptick from the second, helped by continued recovery in South Africa.
Europe, however, remained a slog for the world's second biggest mobile operator, with organic service revenue down 1.4% year-on-year, the same negative rate it posted for the previous quarter.
Chief Executive Nick Read said: "Competition in Europe remains challenging, primarily in the value segment, however we continued to improve customer loyalty and to grow in broadband, and we achieved good growth in Africa.
"We expect a further gradual improvement in service revenue growth in Q4, led by Europe."
Read is focusing Vodafone's operations on two regional platforms: Europe and sub-Sahara Africa.
Last month it agreed to sell its 55% stake in Vodafone Egypt for $2.4 billion to Saudi Telecom Company.
Read said Vodafone was moving forward with its plan to generate increased value from its network infrastructure.
It had appointed the senior management team for its European tower company, he said, and was preparing for a potential pubic listing in early 2021.
Vodafone reiterated its full-year guidance of adjusted core earnings of 14.8-15.0 billion euros, and free cash flow before spectrum costs of about 5.4 billion euros.
(Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by James Davey)