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Vodacom Gains Most Since 2010 on Profit Jump: Johannesburg Mover

Vodacom Group Ltd., South Africa’s largest wireless carrier, rose the most in almost three years as the company said its full-year earnings per share increased as much as 25 percent.

The shares advanced 5.7 percent, the most on an intraday basis since May 2010, and were 5.2 percent higher at 110.36 rand by 11:46 a.m. in Johannesburg. Earnings per share excluding one-time items were up 20 percent to 25 percent in the 12 months through March, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement today. That implies an outcome of as much as 8.86 rand, ahead of the 8.40 rand median estimate of 16 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

“The trading statement this morning surprised the market positively,” David Lerche, an analyst at Avior Research (Pty) Ltd., said by phone from Johannesburg today. “It shows that the market’s concern about Vodacom was probably overdone.”

Vodacom, which is 65 percent-owned by Vodafone Group Plc, is overhauling its stores and expanding its business after local mobile sales fell in the three months through December. The company is becoming increasingly important for its parent, as Newbury, England-based Vodafone struggles to halt a slide in its European business.

Basic earnings per share is expected to be between 25 percent and 30 percent higher, according to the statement. That implies a final outcome of as much as 9.02 rand, compared with analyst forecasts of 8.51 rand.

Vodacom expects to publish its full-year earnings statement on or about May 20.

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