- FTSE 100 adds 15 points
- Wall Street higher ahead of Fed rate decision this week
- UK flash PMI’s shows economic activity slowing in July
4.45pm: FTSE still on the up
The FTSE 100 built on last week’s gains on Monday, adding 0.2% to close at 7,679, supported by ongoing gains in the US as the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a new 2023 high ahead of this week’s corporate earnings and the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate decision on Wednesday.
“The FTSE 100 and other markets have reversed their morning weakness despite the raft of poorer PMIs,” commented IG’s Chris Beauchamp.
“These have pushed down the euro and sterling, giving European indices their usual modest lift, but ahead of this week’s central bank decisions a view is gathering pace that the period of rising rates is at an end, providing some hope of a market uplift into year-end.”
By the London close, the DJIA was 0.5% higher at 35,416 and the S&P 500 had gained 0.4% to 4,553. But the Nasdaq only was marginally firmer at 14,039 after retracing most of its earlier gains.
3.55pm: US flash PMI weakens
With around 30 minutes of trading to go in London, the FTSE 100 index was pushing ahead again, hitting fresh session highs as US stocks advanced with the focus on Wednesday’s Federal Reserve policy decision and the future path for US interest rates.
The latest US economic data showed S&P Global’s flash Composite Output purchasing managers index (PMI) ease to 52.0 in July, down from a reading of 52.3 for June.
The flash PMI for services fell to 52.4 from 54.4 – a five-month low; while the flash manufacturing PMI improved to 49.0 from 46.3.
In a statement commenting on the data, Chris Williamson, chief business economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence said: “July is seeing an unwelcome combination of slower economic growth, weaker job creation, gloomier business confidence and sticky inflation.
“The overall rate of output growth, measured across manufacturing and services, is consistent with GDP expanding at an annualized quarterly rate of approximately 1.5% at the start of the third quarter. That’s down from a 2% pace signalled by the survey in the second quarter.
“However, growth is being entirely driven by the service sector, and in particular rising spend from international clients, which is helping offset a becalmed manufacturing sector and increasingly subdued demand from US households and businesses.”
3.30pm: Strong crude moves
Oil prices jumped higher on Monday afternoon as hopes for tighter supply and further Chinese stimulus measures underpinned sentiment even as traders brace for further rate hikes from US and European central banks this week.
UK Brent crude was up 1.2% at $81.15 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) added 1.5% at $78.22 a barrel. Both benchmarks rose last week, their fourth straight of week of gains, amid hopes for a tightening in supply following recent OPEC+ cuts.
Crude’s rise has reflected “tightening conditions as Saudi oil output cuts impact the market … even as summer demand has been somewhat stronger for gasoline and jet fuel”, analysts at Citi Research said in a note.
The US bank’s analysts said they see some upside for oil over the summer and forecast an average price in the third quarter of $83 a barrel.
In China, the state planner on Monday unveiled measures to spur private investment in some infrastructure sectors and said it will also strengthen financing support for private projects as the world’s No. 2 consumer of oil attempts support its flagging economy.
Meanwhile, investors have priced in quarter-point hikes from both the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank this week, so the focus will be on what Fed Chair Jerome Powell and ECB President Christine Lagarde will say about future rate increases.
3.10pm: Climate of no change
London’s High Court has dismissed a case bought by environmental law charity ClientEarth against oil giant Shell over its climate strategy, Reuters has reported.
ClientEarth, which holds 27 shares in Shell, alleges the company cannot achieve its aim of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 with its current climate transition strategy and its directors are therefore breaching their duties to shareholders.
The group wanted to bring a so-called derivative case on behalf of Shell against its directors, which could have seen other firms face investors’ lawsuits over climate-related risks.
However, Reuters noted, Judge William Trower refused permission to bring the case. He ruled that ClientEarth’s case ignored that managing large businesses requires directors to “take into account a range of competing considerations”, in which courts should not interfere.
A Shell spokesperson welcomed the ruling and described ClientEarth’s case as “fundamentally flawed”, while Paul Benson, a senior lawyer at ClientEarth, said the charity was disappointed and intended to pursue an appeal, Reuters added.
2.45pm: Wall Street pushes ahead
The FTSE 100 index remained a touch lower in midafternoon trading, stuck between session highs and lows even as US stocks started higher ahead of a crucial week for key central bank policy decisions and some big US corporate earnings.
Around 15 minutes after the New York open, the Dow Jones Industrials Average was up 101 points, or 0.3% at 35,328, extending its recent gains to an 11th session in a row, while the broader S&P 500 and the tech-laden Nasdaq Composite both gained 0.4%.
“The market will be watching closely to see if the Fed will signal its intention to pause rate hikes or whether it will give itself the flexibility to react to future economic conditions,” commented FOREX.com senior market analyst Fiona Cincotta.
2.30pm: Airport relief
Staying with industrial strife, some of the strikes planned by baggage handlers and other workers at Britain’s no.2 airport Gatwick in the peak summer travel period have been suspended or cancelled, the Unite trade union said on Monday.
Earlier this month, Unite warned that airlines including easyJet, TUI and British Airways could face cancellations and delays after two sets of four-day strikes by 950 workers were announced for late July and early August.
But improved pay offers mean that DHL workers, who provide services to easyJet, have cancelled their walkouts completely after they voted to accept a 15% pay rise, the union said.
In a statement on Monday, Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This is an excellent result secured by the steadfast position of our DHL members. Once again, workers are gaining real material benefits from Unite’s absolute focus on improving jobs, pay and conditions.”
Workers for Menzies and ASC are balloting on improved pay offers, raising the possibility that they could also cancel their planned strike action if they accept the new deal. Currently ASC workers have not yet suspended their walkouts, while Menzies have suspended some of them.
A fourth set of workers, who are contracted by GGS, have suspended strikes between July 28-Aug.1 to allow negotiations to continue but are still due to walk out August 4-8.
Unite regional officer Dominic Rothwell noted: “Strikes by DHL workers have now been cancelled. ASC and Menzies workers are being balloted on new offers and talks are progressing with GGS. Unite will be making no further comment until the outcome of the ballots and negotiations are known later this week.”
2.15pm: Rail woes roll on
Despite progress being made in London, notably with this week’s tube stoppages called off, national rail strikes are still expected to take place next Saturday 29 July following closures last Saturday and last Thursday.
The industrial action will affect services such as Chiltern Railways, Great Western Railway, TransPennine Express and the West Midlands Railway.
In addition, ASLEF workers are also taking “action short of a strike” by refusing to work any overtime between Monday 31 July and Saturday 5 August.
While the ASLEF strikes won’t bring any rail services to a complete standstill, similar lines to those affected by the RMT strikes will be operating with reduced timetables.
1.30pm: A look at some of today’s movers
S4 Capital – down 20% to 111.3p: Shares in Sir Martin Sorrell’s advertising group, plunged 22% after it sounded the earnings alarm. It cited the tech sector’s growing caution amid tough macroeconomic conditions for cuts to revenue and profit forecasts.
Berkeley Energia – down 47% to 19p: Berkeley Energia halved as its latest update highlighted that Spain’s election over the weekend gave an inconclusive result, suggesting permitting for its Salamanca uranium deposit will remain gridlocked.
Ocado – up 12.2% to 770.8p: Ocado topped the FTSE 100 risers on Monday, with shares leaping 12% higher after it settled a long-running intellectual property dispute with its Norwegian rival AutoStore. The online grocer and robotics company said AutoStore would pay it £200mln over two years, starting in July.
Canadian Overseas – up 17% to 2p: Canadian Overseas Petroleum shares shot up in Monday morning’s early deals as the AIM-quoted firm advanced a partnering process that promises to trigger the development of its Cole Creek property in Wyoming by signing a letter of intent (LOI).
Itsarm – up 208% to 0.62p Shares in the UK-based shell company formerly known as In The Style, surged higher after confirming a raft of board changes that give it a possible survival lifeline.
Upland Resources – up 14% to 0.6p: Shares rose by some 14% in Monday’s early deals as the micro-cap explorer told investors it is assessing and contracting an onshore rig for the Sarawak project in northern Malaysia.
1.03pm: Bright start expected on Wall Street ahead of big week
US stocks are expected to open higher on Monday, extending recent gains at the start of a hectic week for central bank policy decisions, most importantly from the Federal Reserve, and one of the busiest weeks of the US earnings season.
About 40% of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and 30% of the S&P 500 will give their financial updates during the week, including tech giants Alphabet, Microsoft and Meta, plus Visa, GM, Ford, Intel, Coca-Cola and some energy giants including Exxon Mobil and Chevron.
In pre-market trading, futures for the DJIA were up 0.1%, while those for the S&P 500 added 0.2%, and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 0.3%.
On Friday, the blue-chip DJIA ended just 2.5 points, or 0.01% higher at 35,227, still extending its gains to a 10th day in a row, marking its longest rally since 2017. The S&P 500 finished Friday up 0.07%, but the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.2%.
On the central banks front, the Fed, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Bank of Japan (BoJ) will all meet this week.
Investors anticipate that the Fed will increase rates by a quarter percentage point at the conclusion of its latest two-day policy meeting on Wednesday and will be listening closely to comments from chair Jerome Powell to get a sense of the central bank’s position on what happens next as it tries to navigate a soft landing for the US economy.
Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote Bank noted that “activity on Fed funds futures gives almost 100% chance for this week’s 25bp hike.”
“But,” she added, “many think that this week’s rate hike could be the last of this tightening cycle, as inflation is cooling. But the resilience of the US labour market, and household consumption will likely keep the Fed cautiously hawkish, and not announce the end of the tightening cycle this Wednesday.
“There is, on the contrary, a greater chance that we will hear Fed chair Jerome Powell rectify the market expectations and talk about another rate hike in September or in November. Therefore, the risks tied to this week’s FOMC meeting are tilted to the hawkish side, and we have more chance of hearing a hawkish surprise rather than a dovish one.
“Regarding the market reaction, as this week’s Fed meetings falls in the middle of a jungle of earnings, stock investors will have a lot to price on their plate, so a hawkish statement from the Fed may not directly impact stock prices if earnings are good enough. Bond markets, however, will clearly be more vulnerable to another delay of the end of the tightening cycle,” Ozkardeskaya noted.
On the economic calendar, the latest global flash PMI figures are released today, but investors will most keenly watch the key personal consumption expenditures (PCE) index, the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, which is due at the end of the week.
12.41pm: Hargreaves Lansdown rally overdone, according to Deutsche
Deutsche Bank reckons the recent rally in the Hargreaves Lansdown share price is overdone and has downgraded the stock to ‘sell’ from ‘hold’.
Analyst Rhea Shah pointed out HL shares have risen around 20% over the last two weeks, “which we view as an overreaction to the recent inflation data and 4Q23 trading update.”
“At these levels, we feel cautious on the medium-term outlook for the group, and see more downside than upside.”
Shah thinks UK investor sentiment will take a while to recover which in turn could keep flows muted in the short-term and earnings could remain relatively flat over the medium-term.
The Deutsche analyst has cut the HL share price target to 790p from 880p alongside the rating downgrade.
Shares eased 1.8% to 910.50p.
12.15pm: Housebuilders rise as government unveils plans for 1mln new homes
Shares in leading housebuilders were on the right of the line after news the government plans to build 1mln new homes as part of an urban housebuilding programme.
In a news release, PM Rishi Sunak said: “Today I can confirm that we will meet our manifesto commitment to build 1mln homes over this parliament.”
“We won’t do that by concreting over the countryside – our plan is to build the right homes where there is the most need and where there is local support, in the heart of Britain’s great cities,” he added.
As part of the plans the government is planning “a new urban quarter in Cambridge which will unlock the city’s full potential as a source of innovation and talent.”
But that hasn’t gone down well with local MP, Anthony Browne.
He called the plans “nonsense” and pledged to do all he could to block them.
Cambridge already has about the highest housebuilding in the country, and under the local plans that is set to double with 50,000 new homes by 2050, effectively doubling the size of Cambridge. But there is one major problem: we have run out of water.
— Anthony Browne MP (@AnthonyBrowneMP) July 24, 2023
Kate Henderson, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, told the BBC’s Today programme a much bigger” housebuilding plan was needed.
She said that, although there were some positive features in the announcement, more ambition was needed.
But the plans were better received in the City where housebuilders were broadly higher.
Persimmon rose 1.9% while Barratt Developments and Berkeley Group were 0.7% to the good.
11.45am: Pound falls, gilt yields drop after weak PMI figures
Sterling has eased a touch and gilt yields fallen sharply after the latest purchasing managers index (PMI) figures from S&P Global today.
The figures showed a sharp slowdown in economic activity in July hit by concerns over rising interest rates and inflation.
The pound fell around 0.2% to US$1.2837 as traders took the view the figures could mean a lower peak in UK interest rates than previously expected while gilt yields also fell back.
The yield on a 2-year gilt fell to 4.86% from 4.92% while the yield on the 5-year gilt slipped to 4.29% from 4.37%.
Investors now expect the Bank of England to raise interest rates by 25 basis points at its next meeting compared to a 50 basis point increase in June.
“Pricing of a 50bp hike has dropped following the PMI release from 47% to 34%, largely due to the softness in services output and the lowest reading in the prices charged index in nearly two-and-a-half years,” Simon Harvey head of FX Analysis at Monex Europe, said.
“This should provide further justification for the BoE to decelerate its hiking cycle with a 25bp hike in August.,” he believes.
11.25am: Slowing UK economy boost case for more modest rate increase
Samuel Tombs at Pantheon Macroeconomics thinks the PMI figures from S&P “strengthens the case for the MPC to revert to raising Bank Rate by 25bp at next month’s meeting, rather than unleash another 50bp hike.”
“The increase in interest rates delivered to date appears to be increasingly slowing the economy,” he said.
He noted the drop in the composite orders index to 50.0, from 51.6 in June, suggests that the trend will not improve soon.
“Current business volumes also were supported by firms depleting work backlogs at the fastest pace since June 2020, hinting that the composite PMI might drop below 50 over the coming months once these backlogs have been depleted,” he forecast.
But he thinks while a case could be made for a Fed-style pause next month, “the committee likely will not want to take any risks with the inflation outlook and will press on and raise Bank Rate by 25bp, to 5.25%, next month.”
“The risks to our forecast that 5.50% will be the peak for Bank Rate, however, no longer look skewed to the upside,” he added.
Martin Beck, chief economic advisor to the EY ITEM Club agreed.
“On balance, the EY ITEM Club still expects the MPC to tighten policy further at its meeting next week, but the case for further tightening is getting weaker” he commented.
Simon Harvey, head of FX analysis at Monex Europe said: “All in all, today’s data once again confirms that the effects of the BoE’s tightening cycle are now starting to have an impact on the real economy, and with services activity cooling specifically, this should provide further justification for the BoE to decelerate its hiking cycle with a 25bp hike in August.”
10.55am: UK economic activity slows in July – S&P
UK economic activity slowed sharply in July as rising interest rates and a slump in manufacturing took its toll.
The flash UK PMI services output index, a measure of activity in the sector, fell to a six-month low of 51.3, down from 53.7 in June while the manufacturing output index hit a seven-month low of 46.5 (down from 48.1 in June).
This brought the composite index, which combines the two sectors, to a seven-month low of 50.7, down from 52.8 in June.
July #flash PMI data highlighted a considerable slowdown in growth across the #UK‘s private #economy, largely due to flatlining new orders. #PMI at a 6-month low of 50.7 (June: 52.8). Read more: https://t.co/1MF9kfgXRZ @cipsnews pic.twitter.com/wm0MDfJDeD
— S&P Global PMI™ (@SPGlobalPMI) July 24, 2023
Chris Williamson, chief business economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence, which publishes the index, said the data showed the UK economy had “come close to stalling”.
“Rising interest rates and the higher cost of living appear to be taking an increased toll on households, dampening a post-pandemic rebound in spending on leisure activities.”
“Forward-looking indicators, such as order book inflows, levels of work-in-hand and future business expectations, all point to growth weakening further in the months ahead, adding to a risk of GDP falling in the third quarter,” he added.
10.15am: Higher interest rates and stickier inflation to hold UK back in 2023 – EY
The EY ITEM Club has more than halved its forecast for UK economic growth in 2024 despite raising expectations for the current year.
The economic think tank now expects UK GDP to rise by 0.8% compared to 1.9% growth it previously forecast.
The EY ITEM Club made the prediction in its Summer forecast and cited higher-for-longer interest rates and stickier inflation as the reasons behind the downgrade.
Positively, the economy’s resilience so far this year led to an upgraded forecast for 2023, with the economy now expected to grow 0.4%, up from the 0.2% growth forecast in April.
Two further interest rate rises from the Bank of England are expected, in August and September, with Bank Rate forecast to peak at 5.5%, before rates start to be cut from the second half of next year.
Inflation is still forecast to fall quickly in the second half of 2023, building on June’s downside surprise, but is now predicted to end the year at just below 5% – in April, it had been expected to end 2023 around 3%.
Hywel Ball, EY UK Chair, says: “The economy is moving past the series of shocks which have buffeted it in recent years, but their repercussions are long-lasting and holding back UK growth.”
“Inflation remains high, energy bills are a long way from their pre-pandemic levels, and workforce growth has been slow in recent years, partly due to falling inward migration from the EU and a recent uptick in long-term ill health.”
But there were some bright spots. “Energy costs are falling and supply chain problems are easing.”
“Business investment, which has been disappointing for some time, is starting to outpace the wider economy too.”
“The foundation for growth is there, but the big question mark is the future path of inflation and interest rates.”
9.27am: Rate calls in focus with rises expected in the US and Europe
A busy week ahead for central bank announcements.
Interest rates are expected to increase in the US and Europe this week but the market will be looking for signals that central banks think this round of monetary tightening is close to an end.
The Federal Open Market Committee is widely expected on Wednesday to raise its benchmark rate by another quarter of a percentage point following a reprieve in June.
That will increase the federal funds rate to a target range of between 5.25% and 5.5%.
Jim Reid at Deutsche Bank thinks the US Federal Reserve will almost certainly hike by 25 basis points “which we and the market expect to be the final hike in the cycle.”
“The key for this meeting is if and how much the Fed messaging changes given recent softer inflation data,” he said, although he thinks the Fed will “maintain a hawkish bias even if they acknowledge the progress.”
The most recent figures showed a sharp easing in the annual rate of inflation bringing it closer to the Fed’s 2% target boosting hopes of a ‘one and done’ move.
In Europe, a similar move is expected. ING Economics’ Carsten Brzeski said it was “no brainer”.
“Not only did Christine Lagarde basically pre-announce the rate hike at the June meeting, macro data released since that meeting have not fundamentally changed,” he explained.
Looking beyond the July meeting, signs of a cooling economy and fading inflationary pressure will make the discussion at the ECB about how far to go more controversial, he thinks.
“As a consequence, the path for the ECB beyond the July meeting will be highly determined by whether the ECB will be right with its optimistic growth outlook or whether growth will remain sluggish.“
“We still think that the disinflationary process will gain more traction only after the summer and that the current sluggishness of the economy will not yet be sufficient to stop the ECB from hiking one last time in September.”
9.05am: Airlines grounded as Ryanair sees softer growth in prices
Shares in airlines and travel firms have been grounded by a cautious update from Irish carrier, Ryanair Holdings PLC (LSE:RYA).
The budget airline reported strong growth in revenue and profit in the financial first quarter but was more cautious looking ahead.
Traffic growth in the financial year is forecast to grow to around 183.5mln (up 9%), which is slower than the 185mln originally expected, due to Boeing delivery delays in spring and in autumn 2023.
Ryanair also highlighted a softening in “close-in fares in late June and early July,” and thinks fare increases in the second quarter will be much lower than in the first quarter due to much stronger pricing in the second quarter last year when peak summer travel snapped back strongly following the Ukraine invasion.
The airline said it remained “cautiously optimistic” that financial year profit after tax will be “modestly ahead of last year,” but said it was too early to provide “meaningful” guidance.
Ryanair shares fell 3.3%, while shares in British Airways owner, International Consolidated Airlnes Group SA fell 3.0%, easyJet PLC eased 3.9%, Wizz Air Holdings PLC (AIM:WIZZ) slipped 4.0% and TUI AG (LSE:TUI) declined 2.4%.
8.45am: WPP dragged down by S4 Capital warning
Equities remain in red and Sophie Lund-Yates at Hargreaves Lansdown thinks it’s “likely to be a choppy week on the markets as investors gear up to digest a slew of results from some of the UK’s biggest companies, including banks and housebuilders.”
Vodafone was the first big FTSE 100 name to update investors this week and shares remain 3.5% to the good after the telco reported an improvement in revenue growth in the financial first quarter.
Richard Hunter at interactive investor noted that “the shares have reacted positively at the open to the glimmers of hope which have been reported, but there remains a significant amount of ground to make up.”
“Investors will be hoping that the positive noises emanating from the group prove to be the thin end of the wedge, but in the meantime the jury remains out.”
Shares in BT Group PLC (LSE:BT.A) benefited from the update rising 1.8%.
Shares in the firm, run by fiormer WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell, tumbled around 20%, after it warned revenue and margins will be below previous guidance.
Overall, the FTSE 100 is 17 points lower at 7,647.
8.15am: FTSE 100 lower but Vodafone in the green
The FTSE 100 has opened weaker but Vodafone Group PLC (LSE:VOD) is in the green after reporting an upturn in revenue growth in its financial first quarter.
The telco, which has seen its shares fall around 12% this year, rose 3.2% to 75.88p on the news of improved trading in the UK and Europe.
Margherita Della Valle, chief executive, commented: “As we progress our plans to transform Vodafone, we have achieved a better service revenue performance across almost all of our markets.”
“We have delivered particularly strong trading in our Business segment and returned to service revenue growth in Europe.”
At 8.15am, London’s blue-chip index was down 19.55 points, 0.26%, to 7,644.18 while the FTSE 250 fell 31.78 points to 19,168.67.
The week ahead is set to be dominated by interest rate decisions in the US and Europe.
Deutsche Bank thinks the US Federal Reserve will “almost certainly hike +25bps on Wednesday which we and the market expect to be the final hike in the cycle.”
In Europe, a similar move is expected. ING Economics said the European Central Bank looks set to hike rates by 25bp on Thursday.
But it added: “With the bleak economic outlook and disinflation gaining traction, however, the end to rate hikes is near.”
Top of the FTSE 100 risers is Ocado Group PLC (LSE:OCDO) which jumped 10% after it settled a three-year legal spat with Norwegian rival, Autostore.
The online grocer will receive £200mln over two years as part of the deal which broker Shore Capital said was welcome.
Not such a good morning for investors in S4 Capital which plunged 24% after it warned of slower revenue growth and weaker margins.
Peel Hunt said that “the warning today will not come as a surprise, given its peers last week warned of the continued weakness in advertising spend within the tech sector.”
It has placed its forecasts under review.
7.56am: S4 Capital warns of revenue hit from tough trading
Not good news for shareholders in S4 Capital PLC (LSE:SFOR) which has warned full-year revenue and margins will be below previous forecasts reflecting tough trading conditions in May and June.
The advertising firm, run by Sir Martin Sorrell, said net revenue in the second quarter was below budget with May and June in particular, “reflecting the challenging macroeconomic conditions and clients, especially those in the technology sector, remaining cautious and very focussed on the short term.”
S4 now expects full year like-for-like net revenue growth in a range of 2-4%, as opposed to 6-10% previously with operational EBITDA margin of 14.5-15.5%, as opposed to 15-16% previously.
Technology services continues to perform well, Data&digital has seen growth slow compared to 2022, but is trading satisfactorily, while Content has had a more difficult period generating results below our budget, it said.
7.47am: Ocado settles legal spat with Autostore
In a statement, the online grocer and robotics company said Autstore would pay it £200mln over 2 years, starting in July.
AutoStore, which provides robotics to customers including Ikea, Puma and Gucci, claimed in 2020 that Ocado had infringed its intellectual property, and asked the US International Trade Commission to prevent the retailer from importing British-made robots to America.
Under this deal, all the patent litigation claims the companies filed will be withdrawn and both businesses will be allowed to continue to use and market their existing products, they both said.
Ocado chief executive Tim Steiner said: “I am pleased that we have worked together to resolve our differences and can now continue to focus on what we do best – innovating, developing and enabling partners to access world-beating technology.”
7.34am: Vodafone’s revenue growth improves
The FTSE 100-listed telco also said it had appointed former SAP chief financial officer Luka Mucic to the same role at Vodafone, beginning in September.
Total revenue rose on an organic basis by 3.7% to £10.74bn, an improvement from the 1.9% growth in the previous quarter.
Broad-based service revenue improvement was seen across almost all European markets.
The rate of decline in German service revenue improved to -1.3% from -2.8% in the previous quarter supported by broadband price increases while the UK business saw growth of 5.7%.
Vodafone Business service revenue growth accelerated to 4.5% from 2.9% in the previous quarter driven by a strong performance in digital services.
Despite the uptick in revenue, the firm held financial year 2024 guidance of adjusted EBITDAaL of €13.3bn and adjusted free cash flow of c.€3.3bn.
7.04am: FTSE 100 called lower ahead of key rate calls
The FTSE 100 is set to open lower on Monday as investors look ahead to a week dominated by rate calls in the US and Europe.
Spread betting companies are calling London’s blue-chip index down by around 33 points after closing up 17.68 points at 7,663.73 on Friday.
The US Federal Reserve will announce its rate decision on Wednesday, with the European Central Bank following suit a day after. Both central banks are expected to raise their respective interest rates by 25 basis points.
Elsewhere, it’s a big week of corporate updates with a number of FTSE 100 heavyweights reporting.
Today, it is the turn of telco, Vodafone, while the economic calendar has flash PMI prints from the EU, UK, and US.