France Telecom has posted an 8% fall in third quarter EBITDA thanks to a 6.4% fall in revenue. EBITDA for the three months ended 30 September 2009 was EUR4.558 billion, compared to EUR4.82 billion in the same period of 2008, while sales slipped from EUR13.17 billion to EUR12.686 billion. Chief Financial Officer Gervais Pellissier said the company will continue to implement cost-saving plans to prevent its EBITDA margin from declining further in the fourth quarter. The group’s EBITDA margin was 35.9%, compared with 36.5% a year earlier and capital expenditure fell 18.6% in the quarter to EUR1.207 billion. Third-quarter revenues were hit by regulatory measures but also the impact of the strong euro versus the Polish zloty and the British pound. Poland generates 10% of France Telecom’s total revenue, while UK operations accounts for about 11%. Domestic revenue, which accounts for almost half of group sales, fell 1.6% to EUR5.88 billion as growth in mobile subscribers and data services helped offset the impact of regulatory measures.
In terms of customer base, at the end of September 2009 the group claimed 189.1 million customers (excluding MVNOs), up 6.6% year-on-year with 11.7 million net new customers compared to twelve months earlier. Mobile users accounted for 128.8 million of the total (up 9.5% year-on-year) while broadband customers numbered 13.4 million (67%), 7.3 million VoIP accounts (14%).