France Telecom SA may sell some of its smaller European operations as growth slows on the continent, its chief financial officer said yesterday, Bloomberg informs, quoted by HotNews.ro.
France’s biggest phone company is reviewing its European portfolio, Gervais Pellissier said on a conference call with reporters. Aside from France, Poland and Spain, “all the other countries are involved in this review,” which will examine opportunities for consolidation as well as possible sales of operations, he said.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Stephane Richard is weighing the future of businesses in countries including Austria, Belgium, and Romania as growth in Africa and the Middle East roars ahead. First-quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization slipped 1.3 per cent to EUR 3.73 bln (USD 5.5 bln), hurt by a consumer tax that took effect this year and unrest in Egypt, France Telecom 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”, Chairman and CEO of France Telecom-Orange, Stephane Richard, said, commenting on the operating results for the first quarter of 2011, according to a press release.
The Q1 incomes of Orange Romania dropped by 6 pc to EUR 222 M, from EUR 237 M a year ago, because of difficult economic conditions worsened by the higher inflation, reads a press release. At the end of March the company had 10.274 million customers, 5 pc less than at end-March 2010, according to a France Telecom report.
At the end of last year, Orange Romania had 10.464 million customers. The inflation increase in February above the expected limit sparked a drop in consumption on the telecom market, as well as in other sectors, and the results of Orange are similar to those reported by other companies operating in various sectors of the Romanian economy, adds the release. “The last two years of economic crisis influenced the consumption habits of customers. Even if a certain improvement of the economic climate can be noticed, demand will pick up at a much slower pace and, in the telecom field – where competition is fierce anyway – the income erosion process will continue in the following quarters too,” the CEO of Orange Romania, Thierry Millet explains in the press release. Millet is pleased with the results of the company, which was able to preserve a sound customer base and retain its leading position in the market.
ROMANIAN TELECOM MARKET DOWN 10 PC IN 2010
A France Telecom report quoted by ‘Jurnalul National’ reads that the Romanian telecommunications market stood at EUR 2.8 bln in 2010, down from EUR 3.2 bln in 2009. The report takes into consideration the mobile telephony, landline internet and telephony, and data traffic. The local market of mobile telephony diminished to EUR 2.12 bln, from EUR 2.4 bln in 2009, while the landline telephony market decreased from EUR 486 M to EUR 443 M.