Orange owner sees profits plunge

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France Telecom, owner of mobile network operator Orange, saw profits plunge by 47 percent in the first half of this year, it said Thursday.

Net profits fell to 1.9 billion euros ($2.7 million) compared to the same period last year and its adjusted sales were down 1.3 percent to 22.5 billion euros, it said in a statement. These were lower than analysts' forecasts.

France Telecom said its earnings were hit partly by political unrest over recent months in two African mobile phone markets, Ivory Coast and Egypt.

Its chief executive Stephane Richard said it planned to launch a low-cost mobile phone deal called "Sosh" this year as a challenge to French budget fixed-line operator Free which also plans to enter the mobile market.

© 2011 AFP

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