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Orange revs up in H1

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A good performance in Orange's key French subsidiary helped lift first half revenues 7 per cent to €8.6bn. Additionally, the France Telecom-owned mobile network operator turned in a profit, before the bad stuff - interest payments, depreciation etc - for the first time in every territory.

ARPU (average revenue per user) stabilised in France at €376 - not bad considering a reduction of termination rates of 15 per cent was imposed on the market in March. UK ARPUs rose 6.8 per cent to £267. Orange France grew revenues 4.9 per cent. Like for like, the UK did even better, with revenues growing 9 per cent in sterling terms. Anyone who has been drinks or cigarette smuggling in France lately will have noticed that their excise-stealing pounds are going less far than last year, so the impact of UK performance on Orange is much less than it would have liked. In euro terms, Orange UK revenues were down 0.5 per cent.

The bulk of H1 subscriber growth came from the rest of the world, with 90 per cent of net new customers coming from outside France and the UK. Rest of the World customers now number 13 million. Worldwide, Orange gained 1.3 million net customers in H1, taking the total to 45.6 million.

Group revenues from mobile data services advanced 26 per cent to €978m. ®

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