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Oct. 23, 2014, 2:04 a.m. EDT

Orange sales, profit fall on tough competition

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By Ruth Bender

PARIS-- Orange SA on Thursday posted another drop in revenue and profit in its latest quarter as tough competition in some of the telecom group's largest markets continued to weigh.

Orange said sales in the three months ended Sept. 30 fell 3.5% to EUR9.81 billion ($12.4 billion), dragged down by sharp declines in mobile revenues in big markets such as France and Spain. Sales, however, fell less sharply than in prior quarters and beat a company-compiled consensus.

"Sales continue to fall but we are clearly seeing sales drop at a much lower rate," Chief Financial Officer Ramon Fernandez said on a conference call.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization fell 3.6% to EUR3.25 billion in the quarter, also slightly above consensus. Orange achieved a profit margin of 33.1%, stable from last year, as it continued to cut costs to offset falling revenues.

Orange has been cutting costs to shore up profit amid falling revenues in its home market. The former French monopoly, along with rivals SFR and Bouygues Telecom, has been hurt in its home market from a price war sparked almost three years ago by the arrival of low-cost operator Iliad SA.

Orange confirmed its full-year goals. The company aims to post Ebitda of between EUR12 billion and EUR12.5 billion this year, a figure readjusted to exclude one-off items.

Write to Ruth Bender at Ruth.Bender@wsj.com

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