Vodafone has raised its forecast for full-year earnings growth to around 10%, from 4-8%, after reporting a strong first half helped by demand for data and broadband in Europe.

The company, the world's second-largest mobile operator, reported a 13% rise in first-half organic adjusted core earnings to €7.4 billion, ahead of market forecasts for €7.08 billion. 

Chief executive Vittorio Colao said Vodafone had maintained good commercial momentum and was able to report a substantial improvement in margin and profit growth. 

The company said the increased forecast, which implies core earnings of €14.75-14.95 billion, reflected stronger than expected underlying revenue growth in Europe and a later than anticipated launch of a new entrant in Italy.

It said free cash flow would also beat its previous expectation, coming in above €5 billion rather than around €5 billion.

Revenues rise at Vodafone Ireland but regulatory changes bite

Revenue at Vodafone Ireland rise by 1.7% in the second quarter to €234.3m.

However the network said its organic service revenue fell by 2.8% due to regulatory changes which required it to charge less for call terminations and roaming.

Vodafone Ireland said its overall customer base grew by 4,000 in the quarter, with the company now serving 265,400 fixed broadband customers.

Meanwhile its fibre broadband joint venture with the ESB, SIRO, had become available to 110,000 homes and businesses across the country.