* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.5 pct
* Vodafone up 4.7 pct as it raises guidance
* Henkel, Hochtief boosted by strong results
By Francesco Canepa
LONDON, Nov 11 (Reuters) - European shares inched higher on Tuesday, boosted by upbeat updates from telecoms operator Vodafone and German companies Henkel and Hochtief.
Vodafone rose 4.7 percent as the world’s second-biggest mobile operator nudged its forecasts for core earnings higher after reporting a sharp improvement in its main quarterly revenue measurement, helped by improved demand in its big European markets.
Shares in German consumer goods group Henkel rose 3.8 percent after it posted better than expected third-quarter earnings and raised its full-year forecast slightly, thanks to emerging-market demand for its washing powders, beauty products and industrial adhesives.
Henkel said that despite the political tension, its Russian business made an “above-average contribution” to the 3.1 percent sales growth achieved in eastern Europe in the third quarter. Russia is Henkel’s fourth-largest market with annual sales of about 1 billion euros ($1.24 billion).
Around 58 percent of German companies which have reported results so far have met or beaten expectations, broadly in line with the European average, StarMine data showed.
“So far German results have been slightly better than expected,” said Gregor Kuhn, an analyst at IG, who thought the strong corporate numbers would support the Dax for the remainder of the year.
“Expectations had been downgraded before the reporting season and Russia was one of the reasons. The other one was economic weakness in the euro zone, but I think that is priced in by now.”
Mid-cap construction group Hochtief, controlled by Spain’s ACS, rose 2.5 percent after it reported a 12 percent rise in underlying third-quarter net profit, beating market expectations.
At 0840 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of pan-European shares was up 0.5 percent at 1,361.59 points, building on a 0.7 percent rise the previous day.
Strategists at UBS see scope for a 13 percent rise in European shares by the end of next year as a modest recovery in the European economy and weakness in the euro versus the dollar drive earnings growth.
Europe bourses in 2014: link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2014: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today’s European research round-up (Reporting By Francesco Canepa; Editing by Crispian Balmer)