France Telecom has reported a sharp fall in its profit last year due to restructuring costs and price cuts. It also had to write down the value of its British, Polish and Dutch businesses by 2.8 billion euros. Profit dropped 28% and the company said it will not be increasing its dividend this year. Analysts believed that signals that it is planning acquisitions.
France Telecom is now Europe’s third largest phone company with turnover last year of 51.7 billion euros, just behind Spain’s Telefonica. Deutsche Telekom remained number one. The company, which lost about 1.5 million fixed-line customers last year in its home market said “there is still good growth in mobile phone services, driven by emerging markets.’‘ Chief Financial Officer Gervais Pellissier said it is seeking acquisitions to boost its operations in African, Middle Eastern and Asian emerging markets.