France Telecom Q3 revenue stable

Operations largely unharmed by the economic crisis

PARIS -- France Telecom posted a stable 3.4% increase in revenue to 39.9 billion euros ($52.5 billion) for the first nine months of 2008, the company said in a statement Thursday.

The group's consolidated revenues rose 1.1% to 39.9 billion euros ($52.4 billion) on a historical basis. France Telecom CEO Didier Lombard "saw no impact on its operations from the slowdown in the economy" and added that "our business activities are well-positioned to face the global economic situation, despite the difficult environment in Spain and in some emerging countries."

Third quarter sales rose 2.3% to 13.5 billion euros ($17.8 billion) from 13.5 billion euros during the third quarter of 2007.

However, France Telecom's third quarter gross operating margin (GOM) was 0.6 points less than the same period last year.

Mobile sales jumped 6% with nearly 400,000 additional subscribers and the group boasts more than 8 million consumers for its ADSL services.

Despite the unfavorable impact of the exchange rate, the removal of the group's Orange mobile and Internet operations in the Netherlands on Oct.1 and the acquisition of Ya.com in Spain in July, France Telecom remains optimistic as the fourth quarter rolls around.

The group's 2008 objective is to generate an organic cash flow of more than 7.8 billion euros ($10.3 billion).
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