Exchange rate hinders Orange rev

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Orange UK revenues declined by 8.5 per cent in the quarter ended December 31, 2009 to €1.29 billion (£1.37 bn), of which 7.4 per cent was due to the unfavourable exchange rate, it claimed.

Quarter-on-quarter, its revenues dipped 1.2 per cent, while it added 404,000 net new customers, of which 266,000 were contract subscribers.

Year-on-year, revenues also decreased 3.4 per cent to €5.108 billion in 2009, also due to an unfavourable pound sterling exchange rate, it said. However, its contract customers rose last year with 6.903 million customers at December 31, 2009, an increase of 11.8 per cent year-on-year, making up 41.8 per cent of its total customer base.

Data revenues also increased 4.4 per cent due to the rapid growth of non-messaging services, while it represented 25.4 per cent of the network’s total revenues in 2009, compared with 23.3 per cent in 2008.

Orange’s mobile broadband customer base rose 60 per cent in the year to 5.343 million, reflecting the growth in its Internet Everywhere 25 tariff, which had a total of 380,000 customers at the end of the year, compared with at the end of 2008.

At Group level, France Telecom grew its mobile customer base by 8.8 per cent to 132.6 million in the year. It also increased its fixed line broadband subscribers by 4.1 per cent to 13.5 million.

France Telecom chairman and chief executive Didier Lombard said: “The Group’s performance in 2009 confirms the strategy undertaken in 2005 to position the company as an integrated operator. Since then, the Group has significantly increased its customer base and its geographical footprint while capitalizing on new technologies, thus enabling the Group to look to the future with confidence. As I hand over to Stephane Richard, I would like to express my gratitude towards all of the Group’s employees for this shared success.”

France Telecom chief executive designate Stephane Richard added: “I would first like to thank Didier Lombard for leading the Group’s transformation from being a national monopoly to a robust multi-national group that can boast more than 190 million customers and 180,000 employees in 32 countries, all while keeping a tight reign on its financial performance. It is an outstanding group blessed with many excellent qualities, even as it faces a crisis of confidence in France.

“We are working to re-centre the business to provide a renewed outlook for the Group as a whole. This new project, which will be announced before the summer, aims to reposition both customers and employees firmly at the heart of the executive management’s priorities in a way that balances economic performance with social considerations while retaining our leadership position in innovation. This is the exciting task that lies ahead for me and the new management team.”

In the year ahead, Orange said is anticipates revenues to be generally stable, with regulatory measure to account for a dip of €1 billion.

 

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