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Orange buoys France Telecom results

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A good performance from Orange and Wanadoo lifted France Telecom revenues in the first half of the year. Revenues for Orange, France Telecom's mobile arm, and by Wanadoo, its Internet business, both grew by more than 11 per cent. Group sales for the six months to 30 June 2004 advanced 4.2 per cent on same time last year.

France Telecom posted revenues of €23bn for the first half of 2004 (H1 2003:€22.9bn). But net income after minority interests fell to €1.1bn (H1 2003: €2.5bn).

Orange made revenues of €9.5bn in the first half of the year, an increase of 11.2 per cent. ARPU (average revenue per user) grew by 2.6 per cent in the UK and 2.9 per cent in France. Non-voice services accounted for 14.3 per cent of revenues, up from 12.3 per cent in H1 2003. Revenues from the rest of the world (outside France and the UK) grew by 24.4 per cent on a comparable basis.

Wanadoo turned over €1.4bn in the first six months of 2004, an increase of 11.9 per cent. Broadband continues to grow - 35.4 per cent of Wanadoo subscribers now have broadband. The ISP had 9.4m customers on 30 June 2004, up five per cent on last year.

The telco ended the half with €48bn in debt, down from €49.3bn a year ago. It expects growth of between three and five per cent for the coming year and forecasts operating income of more than €18bn and to increase R&D spending to 1.3 per cent of revenues.

Full results are here. ®

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