The results reflect the strong devaluation of the local currency of 15.4%, the impact of regulatory alignment of charges, reduction of retail prices and consumption rates on various segments. The revenue per user stood at 114 euros.

For over a year, the SIM card penetration rate in Romania passed the 100% mark, which fuelled a slowdown in the growth pace of number of clients in this period. In the first quarter 2009, the customer base of Orange Romania grew 1.1%, from prior-year period, up to 10,118,000 users.

“Although the first warnings that foretold a financial crisis were evident in the fourth quarter last year, the size of the impact was stronger in first quarter. We started and will continue to tailor our operations and offers to meet the challenges arising. We will invest in preserving service quality and we will keep on growing even stronger in tighter economic conditions”, said Thierry Millet, interim CEO at Orange Romania.

Orange plans to continue further its investment strategy by delivering new offers and services. This year, the paramount objective will be the development of broadband mobile Internet services that continue to grow in compliance with the mobile data strategy of Orange Romania. Thus, in first quarter 2009, Orange targets 1,889, broadband users, namely 81% increase from prior-year period.

In first quarter 2009, France Telecom’s client database enlarged by roughly 6.3%, up to 183.5 million users. Despite the struggling economic system, the operator booked a 0.4% increase in revenues compared to a year earlier.

The organic cash flow target for 2009 remains 8 billion euros, the same level as in 2008, with action plans initiated to further adapt the Group’s offers and cost structure to changes in the economic environment.