France Telecom's tough quarter

France Telecom has created a €1 billon fund which will go towards subsidizing older staff (57 +) who may be affected by the company’s ongoing restructure.

The measure was announced during its Q3 results as part of the carrier’s attempts to mend the broken morale at the company following the suicide of 25 employees in over the last year and half.
The three-year fund will help staff go part-time if they are showing signs of stress, however many of the suicide victims were much younger than the targeted 57 and over group, suggesting that the affects of the restructure are being felt equally throughout the organization. 
Meanwhile, France Telecom has reported a 6.4% decline in its 3rd-quarter revenues to €12.7 billion. Ebitda fell 8% to €4.6 billion compared to the previous quarter.
France Telecom chairman and CEO Didier Lombard said “against a backdrop of difficult economic, social and regulatory conditions, the group is proving its ability to maintain its performance.”
The group reported 189.1 million customers, excluding MVNOs as at the end of September, up 6.6% year on year with 11.7 million additional customers compared to the same period in 2008. Mobile growth continued to be strong in the quarter with a 9.5% year on year increase on customers to 128.8 million, excluding MVNOs.
Lombard added “despite mixed conditions across our footprint, our performance in France was notable. Revenues from France were up 0.6% and the take-up of new services continues to spread, particularly those related to 3G and our digital TV offers. Our ability to weather current conditions rests on the group's financial strength, on our ability to innovate and on the commitment of our teams around the world.”
Sales in the UK felt the brunt of the economic slowdown declining by 7.1%, or by 2.4% excluding exchange rate effects.