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Vodafone plans to launch additional share buy-back programmes this month

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FILE PHOTO: Different types of 4G, 5G and data radio relay antennas for mobile phone networks are pictured on a relay mast operated by Vodafone in Berlin
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(Reuters) - UK's Vodafone Group said on Friday it intends to launch additional share buy-back programmes over the next eight months to partially offset the increase in the company's issued share capital due to maturing of a convertible bond programme.

The mobile and broadband operator, which has roped in Goldman Sachs as principal of the programme, said the buy-backs will start on July 26 and end by Nov. 17.

Earlier in the day, Vodafone reported a better-than-expected rise in first-quarter service revenue as more stores reopened and tourism made a tentative return following last year's COVID-19 disruption.

The British company had said in May free cash flow would increase to at least 5.2 billion euros ($6.12 billion) this year, after it met its target of "at least" 5 billion euros in the year to end-March.

($1 = 0.8499 euros)

(Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)