France Telecom-Orange (FT-Orange) has reported a 2.7% drop in first quarter revenues to EUR10.92 billion (USD14.40 billion), with the company feeling the effects of increased competition in its domestic market. The operator said sales were down 1.8% year-on-year on a comparable basis in the three months to end-March 2012. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) dropped 7% on a comparable basis and 8.1% on a historical basis to EUR3.43 billion. In the group’s domestic market, sales fell 4.2% to EUR5.40 billion, while its Polish operations also saw a drop in revenue, down 3.4% to EUR832 million. Revenues in Spain were up 2.3%, however, at EUR981 million, while the ‘Rest of World’ was up 2% at EUR2.13 billion.
FT-Orange’s share of the French mobile market declined 1.5 percentage points in the first quarter, on the back of the launch of the country’s fourth mobile network operator Free Mobile in January, but since mid-March the number of portability requests has returned to the level of Q4 2011. Orange France had 26.48 million mobile subscribers at the end of March 2012, down from 26.67 million twelve months earlier and 27.09 million at end-2011. Fixed line telephony subscriptions dropped from 19.19 million to 18.28 million over the same period, while broadband internet customer numbers increased from 9.31 million in March 2011 to 9.67 million a year later. Across the whole group there were 166.19 million mobile customers and 14.56 million broadband internet subscribers as at 31 March 2012, up from 155.16 million and 13.90 million respectively twelve months before.