FT stays positive in face of falling revenues

France Telecom is still targeting free cash flow of €8 billion in 2010, despite a drop in revenues and EBITDA in 1Q.
 
Revenues of €10.96 billion were down 2.7% year-on-year, while EBITDA declined 5.5% to €3.76 billion, due mostly to a lack of movement in the Enterprise market, which the firm said has yet to rebound from a tough 2009.
 
That division suffered a 7.9% fall in revenues to €1.7 billion, which France Telecom blames on unfavourable exchange rates and consolidation within the industry.
 
The group’s figures fell slightly short of analyst’s consensus of EBITDA of €3.84 billion and revenues of €11 billion, Reuters reports.
 
CAPEX of €874 million during the quarter represented 8% of revenues, a fall of 1.9% on the ratio during 1Q09, however the telco remains confident it will meet its target ratio of 12% of revenues for full-year 2010.
 
CEO Stéphane Richard, said the 1Q10 results highlight that market conditions remain tough, but noted that a strong performance in the Ivory Coast, Kenya, Senegal and Uganda had boosted revenues in the Africa and the Middle East region 7.3% year-on-year, and that the firm had re-started fiber rollout in France during the quarter.
 
The group ended 1Q10 with 183 billion subscribers globally, compared to 176 billion in 1Q09.

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