France Telecom beats hopes

City A.M. Reporter
FRANCE Telecom posted forecast-beating third-quarter results after a marked turnaround in its all-important home market.

Its results were fuelled by new bundles of mobile, fixed-line, broadband and TV and a boom in smartphones.

Europe’s third-largest telecom operator by revenue also tweaked its outlook for 2010 revenue, saying it would be “slightly up” on a comparable basis from 2009, whereas before it expected it to be largely flat. France Telecom’s numbers extend a streak of solid results from European telecoms groups. “We have revived our commercial performance in France,” chief financial officer Gervais Pellissier said yesterday. France Telecom, which competes with Vivendi’s SFR, Bouygues Telecom and Iliad, posted third-quarter revenue of €11.63bn (£9.9bn) and Ebitda of €4.26bn. Analysts had expected revenue of €11.37bn and Ebitda of €4.15bn. “Our third quarter allows us to be a bit more optimistic for the full year,” said Pellissier. “France is improving, Spain too, emerging markets grew a bit faster, and our enterprise division didn’t suffer as much as we thought.”