France Télécom sees steady revenue growth

France Télécom SA's consolidated revenue for the nine months to Sept. 30 grew 9 percent year on year to €34.44 billion (US$33.79 billion as of Sept. 30, the last day of the period being reported), and the company expects full-year revenue to grow by between 8 percent and 9 percent, it announced Tuesday.

In pro-forma terms, which exclude the effects of exchange rate fluctuations and changes in consolidation, the company recorded year-on-year revenue growth of 2.9 percent, compared to a figure of 2.6 percent for the six months to June 30, the company said in a statement.

Revenue from domestic fixed-line voice and data services continued its decline, down 5.5 percent year on year to €14.01 billion. This was largely due to a decline in fixed-line telephony revenue, which slipped 7.1 percent to €10.31 billion.

The company's international activities growing fastest: Revenue from fixed-line services outside France grew 38.4 percent to €6.85 billion with global telecommunications subsidiary Equant NV posting growth of 59.3 percent.

But most of this international growth was due to changes in the consolidation of Equant following its merger with Global One: Pro-forma revenue growth for the nine months was just 0.6 percent for international activities as a whole, while pro-forma revenue from Equant declined by 6.8 percent. France Télécom blamed Equant's performance on a 15.5 percent decline in revenue from integration services, which it attributed to the general economic slowdown, and a 6.2 percent decrease in revenue from its SITA division, which reduced prices on July 1.

Mobile communications revenue grew on both a historical and a pro-forma basis. Revenue from the company's Orange SA subsidiary rose 13.3 percent (12.5 percent pro-forma) to €12.23 billion, with average revenue per user (ARPU) rising in the company's two main markets, France and the U.K.

The company's Internet service provision subsidiary, Wanadoo SA, put in a strong showing too. Revenue from the subsidiary for the nine months rose by 31.7 percent (29.8 percent pro-forma) to €1.35 billion, growing slightly slower than the number of customers, which was up 33.4 percent year on year at Sept. 30.

France Télécom only reports profit figures for its full-year and half-year results.

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