Orange to join mobile alliance and boost earnings

24 Jun 2003

Paris-based cellular giant Orange [ORA.PA], the third largest mobile operator in Europe behind Vodafone and T-Mobile, has announced that it plans to boost revenue growth to over 5% in a bid to accelerate core earnings by around 15%-17% in 2003 and 2004. Despite financial problems experienced by the company’s parent France Télécom, Orange claims to be on track for the proposed revenue growth. According to new chief executive Soloman Trujillo operating free cash flow is expected to rise by 80%-90% in the two years to 2005, generating around EUR14 billion. Orange has also revealed that it will be joining an alliance with its Italian, Spanish and German rivals, Telecom Italia Mobile [TIM.MI], Telefónica Móviles [TEM.MC] and T-Mobile. The three operators first announced that they were teaming up in April in a move aimed at improving cross-border customer services, but Orange had not made an official decision over whether to join them until now. The move has been described by analysts as a defensive move against the market leader Vodafone [VOD.L].