France : the effectiveness of its commercial response in France and the solid contribution of its international operations enabled the Group to limit... [TendersInfo (India)]
(TendersInfo (India) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) France : the effectiveness of its commercial response in France and the solid contribution of its international operations enabled the Group to limit the decline in first-quarter 2012 revenues
The Group reported consolidated revenues of 10.922 billion euros. Revenues were stable compared with the first quarter of 2011, down 0.1% on a comparable basis, excluding the impact of regulatory measures: 6.8% increase in Africa and the Middle East, with recovery in Cote d Ivoire and Egypt; 4.5% growth in Spain, led by mobile and fixed broadband services; in France, the decline was limited to 1.7% (after a 2.0% decline in the fourth quarter 2011) due to our commercial response. Orange s share of the mobile market declined 1.5 percentage points in the first quarter but since mid-March the number of portability requests has returned to the level of the fourth quarter 2011.
The national roaming contract signed with the new entrant partially offset the decline in revenues in the consumer mobile market in the first quarter of 2012. At the signing of the 2G and 3G roaming contract with Free mobile in March 2011, contract revenues were estimated at 1 billion euros over 6 years. The implementation of the contract since Free launched its mobile offers in January 2012 leads the Group to expect substantially higher revenues which should exceed a billion euros in 3 years.
Restated EBITDA was 3.432 billion euros. The restated EBITDA margin of 31.4% was 1.7 percentage points lower compared with the first quarter of 2011. Good control of commercial expenses and overheads limited the margin decline;
CAPEX rose 2.2% to 1.097 billion euros compared to the first quarter of 2011 on a comparable basis, giving an investment ratio of 10.0% of revenues. In France, Orange tripled the speed of its 3G+ networks with the migration to the HSPA+ standard (42 Mbit/sec.).
Commenting on the results for the first quarter of 2012, France Telecom-Orange Chairman and CEO Stephane Richard said: "In a particularly turbulent French market due to the arrival of the fourth mobile operator, the response from Orange was rapid, pragmatic and effective. Our new web-only brand, Sosh, which has attracted over 200,000 customers, and the Orange Open quadruple play offer, which now has a total of 1.7 million customers, demonstrated their relevance both in terms of customer acquisition and retention. The roaming agreement signed with the new operator helped offset the decline in consumer revenues for the quarter.
I would like to highlight the good performance of our international activities, particularly in Spain, which grew 4.5%, and in emerging markets, which posted 6.8% growth helped by the recovery in Egypt and Cote d Ivoire. At the same time, Orange is pursuing its strategy of differentiating itself through the quality of its network by accelerating the deployment of 4G, which will be launched in Marseille in June 2012, as well as fibre."
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