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EDITIONS
Tuesday, 29 October, 2002, 09:16 GMT
Orange customers pay more
Orange is now worth more than its parent company
Mobile phone operator Orange has sparked hopes that the hard-hit wireless industry could be on the way back to health after reporting that its subscriber numbers and revenues were growing.

But the company said its sales for the whole of 2002 would fall short of the target it had set for itself of 15% growth over 2001.

Orange, owned by debt-laden France Telecom, said it added 2.5 million new customers worldwide in the first nine months of the year.

Total revenue rose to 11.5bn euros (7.3bn; $11.3bn) for the period.

More importantly, in an industry where the amount of money made from each subscriber is the key indicator, its average revenue per user (ARPU) in the key UK market rose 3.2% to 258 ($399).

Its performance in France was less positive, with the average revenue per user falling 3.8%.

Propping up the parent

The company said that over the year its revenue would be about 17bn euros, an increase of 12.7% over last year.

The results were seen as solid rather than exciting but they still eclipsed those of France Telecom.

More than half of its sales growth of 9% came from Orange, despite the fact that France Telecom's customer base grew by more than 10%.

And internet service provider Wanadoo, also owned by France Telecom, contributed to its parent's health by boosting sales by almost a third to 1.35bn euros.

See also:

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23 Jun 02 | Business
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