France Télécom has revealed that on a comparable basis consolidated revenues for the first quarter of 2003 climbed by just 3.3% to EUR11.38 billion, with strong performances from its mobile and internet subsidiaries offsetting poor results from its domestic and international fixed line divisions. Orange, FT’s 86% owned mobile subsidiary, reported a 10.5% jump in sales to EUR4.18 billion, whilst internet unit Wanadoo achieved revenue growth of 35.4% to end the quarter on EUR532 million. The group’s domestic fixed line voice and data operations, however, reported a 3.4% fall in revenue to EUR4.45 billion, while the same activities outside of France generated EUR2.21 billion, a 0.6% decrease on the same quarter of 2002.
By the end of 31 March 2003 the Orange group claimed 44.92 million customers worldwide, of which 19.23 million were in France, 13.31 million in the UK and 12.38 in the rest of the world. In the twelve months to the end of Q1 2003 the company added three million users to its subscriber base. The company continued with its strategy of focusing on higher value customers, which in turn resulted in improved ARPU. Wanadoo claimed 8.8 million active customers at the end of the period, up from 6.7 million; the company reported a doubling in its broadband customer base, to represent almost 20% of its total customer base and a third of its domestic customers. In terms of fixed line services, France Telecom was impacted by the opening of the local telecoms markets, with the company’s share of the local traffic market reduced from 86% to 79.1% in the twelve months to 31 March 2003. The group’s share of long-distance traffic remained stable at 63.3% compared to the 63.7% reported at the end of March 2002.