Vodafone doubles dividend payout

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Vodafone shareholders were given a boost today after the mobile phone giant doubled its half-year dividend payout.

The widely-expected increase to 1.91p a share came as chief executive Arun Sarin unveiled a "robust" set of interim figures from the Newbury-based company.

The results were in line with market expectations, although turnover and profits were restrained by the disposal of Vodafone's Japanese fixed-line business. Turnover was £16.8 billion, down on the £16.9 billion seen a year earlier, while underlying profits remained broadly similar at £5.4 billion.