Orange profits upfollowing EE sale

France’s largest telecoms company Orange SA on Tuesday reported a sharp rise in first-half net profit mainly due to the sale of its U.K. joint venture EE, which was completed in January.

Net profit jumped to EUR3.17 billion ($3.48 billion) in the first half while revenue rose 2.7% to EUR20.8 billion as the former state monopoly posted strong sales growth in Spain.

Orange is up against fierce competition in many of its markets, particularly in Europe, where telecom companies are competing hard for market share by cutting prices for mobile and broadband services. In January it completed the sale of its 50% stake in the U.K.-based mobile telephone operator EE to BT Group PLC for GBP3.44 billion ($4.51 billion) in cash and a 4% stake in BT Group.

For the three months to June 30, Orange said adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose 2.3% to EUR3.34 billion on revenue of EUR10.07 billion. Analysts had forecast adjusted Ebitda of EUR3.34 billion on sales of EUR10.12 billion for the period, according to data compiled by FactSet.

In France, the company’s largest market, Orange continued to gain customers but earnings and sales declined, hit by mobile services.

Orange confirmed its 2016 guidance that restated Ebitda will be higher than last year on a comparable basis. It also said it plans to propose a dividend of EUR0.60 a share.

Source: Market Watch

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