Tuesday, March 3, 2009

France Telecom Posts EUR 53.5 billion in 2008 Revenue, 182.3 Million Accesses

France Telecom Group

reported EUR 53.5 billion in 2008 revenue, a 2.9% growth for the year on a comparable basis. However, growth in Q4 slowed to 1.7% on the deteriorating economic conditions. Looking ahead to the rest of the year, France Telecom believes growth in its revenues should, as in 2008, be greater than the average GDP (gross domestic product) trend within the Group's footprint.

As of the beginning of 2009, the total number of customers served by the company across all its properties reached 182.3 million, including 121.8 million mobile customers, up 11%, and 12.7 million ADSL broadband customers, up 9%.

"For the second consecutive year, we stabilized the gross operating margin rate. These results show that the Group is well armed to face an
economic environment that has been particularly unsettled. We are able to continue generating a high level of cash flow, necessary to ensure future investments and for our employees and shareholders to be
able to partake in the Group's successes," commented Didier Lombard, France Telecom Chairman and Chief Executive

Some additional highlights:

  • There was a 2.8% increase in gross operating margin (GOM) on a comparable basis to €19.4 billion; stabilization of the GOM rate (GOM to revenues) at 36.3% on a comparable basis

  • In Personal Communications Services, the Group had 121.8 million PCS customers at 31 December 2008, excluding MVNOs, for a year-on-year increase of 10.8% (11.8 million additional customers, net of terminations).

  • The number of mobile broadband customers was up very sharply, to 26.7 million at 31 December 2008, compared with 15.7
    million at 31 December 2007, for a year-on-year increase of 70%.

  • The MVNO customer base in Europe rose to 3.1 million at 31 December 2008 (of which 1.8 million in France), compared with 1.9 million one
    year earlier on a comparable basis (of which 1.4 million in France).

  • The number of consumer broadband ADSL subscribers in Europe rose to 12.7 million at 31 December 2008, representing annual growth of 9.1% (more than a million new ADSL subscribers, net of service terminations).

  • The number of Livebox sets was up 28%, with 7.8 million units sold in Europe at 31 December 2008 compared with 6.1 million units at 31 December 2007. The number of Voice over IP customers grew 36% to 6.5 million at 31 December 2008 compared with 4.8 million at 31 December 2007. Digital and satellite TV subscribers rose to 2.1 million in Europe at 31 December 2008 (mainly in France), compared with
    1.2 million a year earlier, an increase of 66%.

  • Revenues for Enterprise Communication Services totalled EUR 7.778 billion in 2008, up 0.7% from 2007 on an historical basis. This includes the unfavorable impact of exchange rates (-EUR 112 million) and the positive impact of changes in the consolidation scope resulting from the consolidation of the "Enterprise" and "Managed Services" divisions of GTL India, acquired in July 2007, and the acquisitions of Netia and PCM in October 2008 (TV broadcasting business).

  • Advanced Business Network services were up 6.8% on a comparable basis (+4.6% on an historical basis), reflecting strong growth in IP network services and very high-speed infrastructure services such as MAN Ethernet and Ethernet LINK. The number of IP-VPN subscribers worldwide rose 7.5% year-on-year to 318,000 at 31 December 2008. Meanwhile, the Business Everywhere mobility offer was up 19.5% in France, with 683,000 users at 31 December 2008.

  • Capital expenditure rate (CAPEX to revenues) of 12.8%, in line with the objective of approximately 13% of revenues. Excluding the non-recurring transaction to purchase technical facilities in France carried out in the first half of 2008 for €163 million, CAPEX decreased 4.4% on a comparable basis. All three operating segments contributed to the decrease: CAPEX decreased by 5.8% in Personal Communication Services, by 1.9% in Home Communication Services and by 12.4% in Enterprise Communication Services. These changes are linked for the most part to the mature European markets, where CAPEX dropped 7.4%, particularly in Poland (-29%), after significant expenditures incurred in 2007 for network capacity expansion and support function optimization. At the same time, CAPEX in emerging markets jumped 9.9% on a comparable basis and represents almost 20% of the Group's total investments in 2008. This increase is tied principally to new operations (Kenya, Niger, Guinea and Central African Republic).

  • Growth in organic cash flow reached EUR 8.0 billion, up from EUR 7.8 billion in 2007 and in line with the stated objective

  • There was a decrease in the net debt/GOM ratio to 1.85, with a net debt of EUR 35.9 billion as of 31 December 2008, a reduction of EUR 2.1 billion year on year.

See also