Vodafone is upping its EBITDA outlook for the 2017/18 financial year as cost savings and revenue growth helped the operator’s performance in the six months to 30 September.

The UK-based operator said organic adjusted EBITDA would increase by 10 percent to a maximum of €14.95 billion. It was previously forecast growth of 4-8 percent.

The increase came after the same metric rose over 13 percent to €7.4 billion in the six months to 30 September, operating profit rose by a third to €2 billion and the company registered a net profit of €1.23 billion compared to a loss of €5 billion 12 months ago.

The net profit comparison was skewed by a writedown in India last year, but the company said cost efficiencies helped to boost EBITDA and operating profits.

Vodafone shaved €515 million off direct costs and €548 million off opex, while income tax expenses almost halved.

Group revenues rose 3.1 percent to €23.1 billion on an organic basis.

In Africa, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific, sales increased 7.1 percent to €5.7 billion thanks to the performance of Vodafone’s opcos in Turkey and Egypt in particular.

Sales in Europe were up 2.5 percent to €16.8 billion with only the UK registering a decline.

[Read more: Vodafone UK is back, CEO says, as he unveils new tariffs, teases smart home product]

Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao said: “Revenue grew organically in the majority of our markets driven by mobile data and our continued success as Europe’s fastest growing broadband provider.

“Enterprise revenues continue to grow, led by our Internet of Things, Cloud and Fixed services, and for the second year running we achieved an absolute reduction in our operating costs.”

Elsewhere, the operator said its $23.1 billion merger with Idea Cellular was progressing well with closure expected next year.

The latter's revenues, which are not included in Vodafone’s results, declined 15.8 percent to €2.6 billion as price wars continued to hammer ARPU.

Yesterday, the two operators unveiled details of the sale of their respective tower businesses ahead of the tie-up.

Colao said: “In India competition remains intense. There are however signs of positive developments in the Indian market, with consolidation of smaller operators and recent price increases from the new entrant.

“We are making good progress in securing regulatory approvals for our merger with Idea Cellular and in monetising our tower assets.”

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