Orange Communications SA

Orange aims for qualitative growth: Orange in profit once again in the first half of 2002

    Lausanne (ots) - In the first half of 2002, Orange Communications SA, Lausanne, achieved EBITDA earnings of 33 (48) million francs. Year-on-year, operating results fell 31%. This is as a result of increased spending on marketing and sales and the training of the almost 1,600 employees on the one hand, and investment in improving the mobile network, knowledge centres and the third site in Biel on the other. Orange increased its turnover by 7% (from 442) to 475 million francs and customer numbers by 15% (from 859,000) to 988,000.

    Andreas S. Wetter, Orange Communications SA CEO, is more than satisfied with the first half of 2002: "We have invested a great deal to ensure that our customers can be reached at all times, wherever they are- should they choose to be contactable. To this end, we have continued to make constant improvements to our mobile network, coverage and network quality. We are deliberately aiming for qualitative growth, which will bring benefits both for our customers and for us."

    Investment brings quality

    The success of Orange proves this strategy to have been the right one, as proved time and again by independent studies. Last of all in the spring of 2002, when three consumer media organisations "Kassensturz", "A Bon Entendeur" and "Saldo" carried out thorough tests into all of Switzerland's mobile phone networks in 44 towns and villages, including all Canton capitals. Orange's mobile network obtained 41 "good" ratings - more than any other network - and not a single "bad" rating.

    The increasing importance of sound advice

    Orange is not only making constant improvements to its network quality and coverage, but also to the quality of the advice it is able to offer. With the opening of Orange Shops in Biel and Lugano in the first half of 2002, there are now nine centres of expertise in mobile technology for all the private and business customers of the more than 5,000 partner sales points. Orange Shops complement the advisory and sales network, which consists of the four Orange Centers and 65 Orange Points.

    2002 end-of-year overview

    Contrary to the general trend in the sector, Orange succeeded in increasing turnover per customer. Moreover, in the business market, Orange has seen massive increases, thus allowing the management to look forward to a successful end of year with confidence. There will be substantial increases over the previous year's figures both in terms of turnover and operating profit.

figures        at 30th June 2001         at 30th June 2002            Change

customers              859,000                         988,000                  +15%

Turnovers    288 M EUR/442 M CHF      323 M EUR/475 M CHF    +12%/ +7%

EBITDA(1)      31 M EUR/48 M  CHF        22 M EUR/33 M CHF      -28%/-31%

(1) Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization

ots Originaltext: Orange Communications SA

Orange Communications SA
World Trade Center
Av. de Gratta-Paille 2
Case postale 455
CH-1000 Lausanne 30 Grey

Therese Wenger, Media Relations
Phone +41/21/216'10'16
Fax +41/21/216'10'15
Orange +41/78/787'10'16

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