FT’s first-quarter results ‘in line’ with guidance; cites ‘difficult conditions’ in Egypt and Cote d'Ivoire

3 May 2011

French behemoth France Telecom (FT) has reported ‘solid’ results for the three months ending 31 March 2011, in line with its guidance for 2011, despite intensified pressures in certain markets. The telco, which offers services under its worldwide Orange brand, said group customers totalled 215.9 million at the end of 1Q11, up 7.0% year-on-year on a comparable basis, driven by 25% mobile growth in emerging markets in Africa and the Middle East. Consolidated revenues rose 0.4% y-o-y to EUR11.228 billion (USD16.652 billion), excluding the impact of regulatory measures, bolstered by strong performances in mobile services in France (5.9%), Spain (7.0%) and Poland (+4.5%), thanks to the popularity of its smartphones and segmented offers. FT said that it was experiencing ‘rapid growth’ in some emerging markets, despite the political situation in Egypt and Cote d’Ivoire.

FT booked restated EBITDA of EUR3.734 billion in the first quarter of 2011. EBITDA margin was 33.3%, down 1.3 percentage points compared with the first quarter of 2010, it said. Quarterly CAPEX of around EUR1.081 billion was equivalent to 9.6% of revenues, in line with the group’s capital expenditure ratio of 13% for the year.

Commenting on the Q1 2011 results FT chairman and CEO Stephane Richard said: ‘The group’s operating and financial performance for the first quarter is strong, despite intensified competition in France and exceptional political conditions in certain emerging countries … In France, the group successfully overcame increased market turbulence and regulatory changes – most notably following the increase in VAT – with significant gains in the ADSL market thanks to the success of the Open quadruple play offer. The group was also able to address difficult conditions in Egypt, Cote d’Ivoire and Tunisia. The Group performed very well in Spain, with revenues growing 4%, as well as in the continually improving Enterprise market … These solid first-quarter results are in line with our financial objectives for the whole of 2011, and sit squarely with the implementation of our ‘Conquest 2015’ plan as well as the creation of a new social contract in France.’

France, Orange Group