France Telecom slashed its dividend for this year and 2013 against last year and its own forecast. The problem is a €1 billion hole in cash flow mostly caused by the mobile tariff war with Iliad and SFR.
CFO Gervais Pellissier said the French market, which accounts for about half of group revenue, would remain in painful transition in 2013: “By then, 85 per cent of our customers will be on contracts at the new lower price points,” he said on a conference call. “But we are confident that we can manage the period of change to get back to growth in 2014.”
Meanwhile Orange TV subs (DTH and IP) were up 17.5 per cent year-on-year to 5.7 million across Europe with most of the growth in France and Poland. The TV figure included both IPTV and satellite homes.
In France, Orange’s digital TV base grew by 18.4 per cent to 4.882 million, while its fixed broadband base grew by 3.7 per cent to 9.827 million, including 144,000 FTH customers.
In Poland, TV subscribers grew by 12.9 per cent year-on-year to 695,000, while fixed broadband customers rose by 0.2 per cent to 2.338 million.