Orange hit by tax dispute

City A.M. Reporter
SHARES in Orange fell more than five per cent during trading yesterday after it disclosed that it will have to pay out €2.14bn (£1.85bn) in its tax dispute with the French government.

The case stems from differences over how to account for losses at subsidiaries after a simplification of the group’s structure in 2005.

Orange was yesterday announcing second-quarter results, with a fall in sales and profits coming in line with analyst forecasts as a price war in France sparked by a low-cost mobile rival began to ease and cost-cutting efforts started to pay off.

Sales were down by 4.8 per cent on a comparable basis to €10.32bn, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) fell 8.4 per cent to €3.29bn.

Shares recovered to close down 3.2 per cent in Paris, at €7.50.