Mobile operator Orange has recorded its first profit since floating last year, and claims that its third-generation (3G) mobile plans are still on track.
In the first half of this year Orange made a net profit of €218m before exceptional items, compared to a €500m loss in the first half of 2001. Total revenue was up 13.8 per cent to €8.1bn.
Chief operating officer Graham Howe said: "We remain convinced of the huge growth yet to come in voice services, as well as the potential for non-voice services, placing us well on track to meet our 25 per cent target in 2005."
He explained that Orange is maintaining its network roll-out plans, with over half the investment in integrating 2.5G and 3G capabilities.
"We are fully on track for our planned 3G launches," said Howe. "It is increasingly clear that we are able to leverage our 2G networks to provide our customers with a '3G experience', and this is what we are doing."
But the news was overshadowed by the announcement that Michel Bon, chairman and chief executive of parent company France Telecom, submitted his resignation at a meeting of the company's board of directors.
Bon will continue as interim chairman and chief executive of France Telecom until a successor is named.
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