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France Telecom posts rum revenues

Up 33 per cent, shares up 3.2 per cent

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On the same day that BT has posted a 71 per cent drop in profits but a 15 per cent increase in revenues, France Telecom has jumped in with a 33 per cent increase in revenues for its first six months and picked up a 3.2 per cent increase in share price.

It hasn't released full figures though so we don't know what its profits look like. Not that this has stopped the City pushing up its value.

Most of the revenue jump comes courtesy of Orange, which records a 122.4 per cent leap in revenue to 6.94 billion euros (£4.28 billion), accounting for 34 per cent of the telco's total revenue of £12.6 billion (it made up 20.4 per cent last year). Its Internet arm, Wanadoo, also saw its revenue jump 49 per cent to £396 million.

A more modest increase in international phone and data services of 17.6 per cent and French phone and data calls of 6.9 per cent also helped.

The company said it was on track to announce a 25 per cent growth in sales for the whole year. How's it done it? Leveraging of course (isn't it always?). "The European market for telecommunications services remained very dynamic during the first half of 2001," said chairman Michael Bon. "France Telecom continues to advance at a brisk pace in this market, leveraging our strong positions in wireless, internet and corporate networks. These three expanding activities now account for nearly 60 percent of our revenues."

An expansion outside of France has seen international sales make up a third of its total revenues, as opposed to 26 per cent a year ago. France Telecom now puts claim to 86 million subscribers. Orange in total has 35.5 million users and Wanadoo, 5 million users. ®

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