France Telecom's CEO Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

France Télécom SA (FTE)

Q2 2012 Earnings Call

July 26, 2011 4:30 AM ET


Gervais Pellissier – CEO Delegate, Finance, Information Systems, United Kingdom JV

Stéphane Richard – Chairman and CEO

Delphine Ernotte-Cunci – Deputy CEO, Orange France


Nicolas Cote-Colisson – HSBC

Jakob Bluestone – Credit Suisse

Hannes Wittig – JP Morgan

Dimitri Kallianiotis – Citi

Vincent Maulay – Oddo

Antoine Pradayrol – Exane

Nick Delfas – Morgan Stanley

Stéphane Beyazian – Raymond James

Frederic Boulan – Nomura

Jonathan Dann – Barclays

Jerry Dellis – Jefferies



Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to France Télécom Orange 2012 First Half Results Conference Call. The call will be hosted by Stephane Richard, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and Gervais Pellissier, Deputy CEO and CFO, with members of FT’s executive committee for the Q&A session that will start after the presentation.

Thank you and let me hand over to Stephane Richard.

Gervais Pellissier

Yes. Thank you very much. Good morning to everybody. I will start with the presentation of our figures and Stephane will be – will conclude our session of today. So we have decided to have this conference quite early to leave space to our colleagues because we know that this end of July a lot of people will publish their results especially some of our peers in this sector, Telefónica, just afterwards.

Just a few comments first and I would like to start with page 10 of the presentation just to come back on the main figures we have. This is revenue minus 1.9% decrease, mainly the consequence of regulation. Excluding this effect, the revenues are almost stable at minus 0.1%, and I think we can observe that there are countries where revenues are under pressure. But at the same time in our footprint we are quite happy that regions or countries are still growing, especially Spain, emerging markets, and the international carriers activities.

EBITDA still penalized by €100 million reduction linked with regulation, turned slightly above €7 billion. Erosion has been limited at 1.6 points out of which 0.3 points coming from the retirement and pension issue for the French Public Servants according to the decision made by EC and which will be applied by the French Government this summer.

Net income is reflecting the EBITDA decrease and the impairments of goodwill in Romania for €159 million. At the same time, Group has not slowed down its investment since we spent 1% more in H1 CapEx compared to last year and the CapEx represents 11.3% of our revenues.

The level of operating cash flow at €4.5 billion makes us comfortable to meet the year and Stephane will explain to you this in our – in his conclusion. At the same time, we have maintained a solid net debt to EBITDA ratio at 2.11 times, which is stable compared to the end of the year and this makes us also quite confident in coming back to a level of 2 in the medium term.

Revenues by geographies are described on page 11, and they are with penalized point coming from regulation minus €400 million. The effect has been quite sensitive in France, and H2 may be even more impacted than H1.

Revenue decrease in France is minus 2%. In Spain, the performance has remained quite high and in Poland revenue decrease was limited to 1.1%, thanks to the ICT revenues. In the rest of the world, revenues are increasing. African countries keep posting impressive revenue growth rates like Ivory Coast or Niger and more than 5% growth for EMEA in the second quarter of the year.

The Animals after launch in Belgium is quite encouraging for the last two months in Belgium and Romania is back to positive growth. Enterprise segment’s revenues are down by 2.6%, which is penalized by the legacy solutions whilst other domains are growing, which means that if you look at the revenue picture in total, we are I think quite good compared to what is happening with other big incumbents in Europe when we look at the first published results from our colleagues.

EBITDA is under pressure. However, with the pressure limited to 1.6 points, as I explained, and with 22% of the decrease coming from regulation. In terms of segment, legacy operations are for sure more suffering than others. In France, EBITDA is down by €400 million; in Poland by €52 million. In Enterprise €36 million. However, we had good contributors coming from Spain, €74 million increase, and in rest of the world especially thanks to EMEA performance.

If I go to page 13, the trends in EBITDA are mainly coming from the revenue impact, use revenue as it was explained, and out of which the regulatory impact is €101 million.

Regarding the cost structure of the company, we had some small pressure on the labor cost; however, (inaudible) compared to what could happen for groups like us, especially considering there is slight salary increase in the company in France for this year.

The cost saving programs, which have been implemented, especially Chrysalid, are helping us keep a better situation for EBITDA and Chrysalid is affected in this very low increase of cost on the IT&N, property and G&A, where we have the benefit of Chrysalid that you find on page 14, with – for Chrysalid savings of €252 million in OpEx and a total savings of €310 million for the total of the Group.

I’ll just remind you, we might comment that in the Q&A that the Chrysalid program is recovering. All the cost structure reduction we can operate in this company through network sharing, through improvement of our processes. And this is what is described on page 15, where you see that we’ve taken some illustration of the project with RAN sharing in Poland, transmission costs in Spain, or mass market customer relationship in France, where we try to optimize our processes to share the means with our competitors when it is feasible and this too has a better success of the future and not just generate savings for the year.

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