Domestic competition eats into France Tel income

France Telecom chief Stéphane Richard claims the firm bore up well to increased domestic competition in 1Q12, despite revenues and earnings slipping during the quarter.
The telco’s EBITDA fell 7% year-on-year to €3.4 billion as revenues slipped nearly 2% to €10.9 billion on the back of tougher conditions in the French market following the entrance of Free mobile in January. Sales in Spain and Middle East & Africa saved France Telecom’s blushes, with revenues in those markets up 4.5% and 6.8% respectively.
Richard hailed the success in each market, while noting a roaming deal with Free helped offset declining consumer revenues in the telco’s home market. “In a particularly turbulent French market due to the arrival of the fourth mobile operator, the response from Orange was rapid, pragmatic and effective,” he said.
The France Telecom chief remains confident the firm will achieve its 2012 target of operating cash flow of around €8 billion.