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Vodafone sales better than hoped as 4G plans grow

Attendees visit the Vodafone Group pavilion at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, March 4, 2015.
Simon Dawson | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Attendees visit the Vodafone Group pavilion at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, March 4, 2015.

Vodafone, one of the world's biggest telecoms companies, announced better-than-expected sales Friday as its 4G plans grow.

The U.K.-based company reported an acceleration in its main quarterly sales growth on Friday as a cable TV acquisition in its biggest market, Germany, where it faces strong competition from Deutsche Telecom, lifted sales and consolidated the overall return to growth for the British firm. It also returned to growth in the U.K.

However, there was no mention in its statement of the one thing many investors want to hear about - a potential deal in Western Europe with John Malone's Liberty Global. The U.K., Germany and Netherlands were the markets identified by Malone as most fertile ground for a tie-up in May, but little has been heard on the deal in recent weeks.

The world's second-largest mobile operator said first-quarter organic service revenue grew 0.8 percent, ahead of the 0.1 percent it recorded in the fourth quarter and better than most analysts had expected.

Read MoreBritain's Vodafone returns to quarterly sales growth

Vittorio Colao, chief executive of the company, said in a statement: "Our emerging markets have maintained their strong momentum and more of our European businesses are returning to growth, as customer demand for 4G and data takes off," said.

The group reiterated its outlook for the full year.

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