FT more upbeat on emerging markets

Michael Carroll
21 Jun 2010

France Telecom’s CEO believes the firm could double revenues from emerging markets within three years, rather than the five years originally outlined in an ambitious plan revealed in April.

Stephane Richard told a conference in Paris the telco could see organic growth of €1.5 billion ($1.86 billion) in emerging markets over the next three years, and that it will generate an additional €2 billion by acquiring licenses and promising carriers, TMC.net reports.

The main focus of his attention is Africa, which Richard predicts will see higher per-capita GDP than India in 2010, and generate good growth prospects over the next ten years.

However Richard was cool on the potential to expand in Europe due to difficulties in obtaining regulatory clearance for deals in the region.

The recent collapse of a planned merger between Orange and Sunrise in Switzerland goes some way to explaining his reluctance to focus on Europe.

But the firm has had problems with Orascom in Egypt, battling with it over control of Mobinil, indicating that even Africa might not offer plain sailing for the telco.

In April, Richard said he wanted to double revenues from emerging markets within five years, and would invest €7 billion in Africa and Middle East to achieve that goal.

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