November 16, 2017 / 6:02 PM / a year ago

Orange's Spanish business to produce profit growth of at least 15 pct in H2-CFO

BARCELONA, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Orange’s Spanish business will post core operating profit growth of at least 15 percent in the second half of this year, Chief Financial Officer Ramon Fernandez said on Thursday.

Spain is Orange’s second-biggest market and has performed strongly over the last few quarters in both revenue and operating profits.

“In terms of Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation), we had 15 percent in first half ... you can be fully confident that the second half will be at least as good as the good half,” Fernandez said at the annual Morgan Stanley conference on tech, media and telecoms in Barcelona.

The telecoms operator, whose margins have suffered from the competition of rival Iliad in France over the last four years, has focused investments on its network and bundled fix and mobile offers to attract customers.

The former French monopoly finalised a 3.4 billion euro($4.00 billion) acquisition of Spain’s Jazztel in 2015, which helped it to expand its presence in the country several times over and reach 10 million of households with its fibre optic network.

Orange has bundled offers in Spain for fixed and mobile services and had 2.1 million customers in the country for its fast broadband fibre optic at end of September.

The telecoms operator’s third-quarter sales in Spain grew by 6.4 percent from a year ago to 1.37 billion euros. Core operating profit in the country amounted to 722 million euros in first half, out of 6 billion euros for the whole group, according to Orange’s financial reports. ($1 = 0.8501 euros) (Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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