France Télécom Q1 Growth Accelerates

PARIS (05/10/2000) - France Télécom SA today reported accelerating growth in its first quarter revenue figures.

For the first quarter this year, the French telecommunications giant announced consolidated revenue of 7.36 billion euros (US$6.67 billion), up 17.4 percent on last year's figure of 6.27 billion euros. First quarter revenue growth between 1998 and 1999 was just 10.5 percent, the company said in a statement.

The increase was mainly due to the company's international operations, where first-quarter revenue more than doubled from 625 million euros in 1999 to 1.28 billion euros this year. This reflected acquisitions made during the second half of 1999 and the sustained growth in wireless activities outside France, according to the statement.

By the end of the quarter, international operations accounted for 17.4 percent of France Télécom's revenue, up from 12.8 percent at the end of 1999.

In the domestic market, the strongest growth was shown in wireless telecommunications, where revenue increased by 44 percent to 1.18 billion euros.

Domestic fixed-line revenue stayed almost level at 3.44 billion euros. The effects of new competing operators on market share, and a general reduction in tariffs; were offset by an 8.2 percent year-on-year increase in traffic volumes, the statement said. Despite this, fixed-line telephony now accounts for just 46.8 percent of France Télécom's revenue, down from 54.7 percent a year earlier.

France Télécom's shares rose on the news by 1.6 percent to 155.9 euros in early trading on the Paris Bourse, but fell back to 145.9 euros by 2.30 p.m.

France Télécom, based in Paris, can be reached on +33-1-44-44-22-22 or found on the Web at http://www.francetelecom.com/.

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