Vodafone performed better in its AMEAK division Reuters

Vodafone reported a slower decline in sales in the first quarter to 30 June, when revenue fell by 0.9% to £10.11bn (€14.26bn, $15.65bn).

In Germany, the company's biggest division, sales declined 0.1% excluding merger and acquisition and currency movements.

CEO Vittorio Colao said: "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."

After Vodafone acquired KDG or Kabel Deutchland in 2013, a cable business in Germany, that business continued to grow momentum and remains a big focus for the network provider.

The company's Europe division still weighed it down, while its Africa, Middle East, and Asia Pacific business grew by 4% to £2.99bn.

Colao underlined the focus of the business, saying: "Our other key growth areas - unified communications and enterprise - are performing strongly, benefiting from the increased capabilities and footprint that our higher levels of investment are delivering."

However, the Italian businessman who joined Vodafone as chief executive in 2008, also acknowledged the challenges of the company: "Our markets are, as always, highly competitive and we therefore have to remain very focused on efficiency, cost control, and excellent value and service to customers, while continuing to deliver a good return for shareholders."

Michael van Dulken, analyst at Accendo Markets, said the news was well-received by shareholders.

Van Dulken said: "Continued strong momentum in the faster growing Emerging markets and a 'good start to the year' allowing confirmation of FY outlook is also welcome news even if group revenues fell 0.9% YoY to £10.1bn, with currency headwinds and M&A stifling growth by 4.2%."