Steady growth in the number of mobile customers helped shore up France Telecom's first half sales, which dropped 0.5% to €25.5bn for the first half of 2009 against an average 2.9% drop in GDP in the countries in which it operates.
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The customer base grew 6.6% year on year due mainly to a 9.7% rise in mobile services to 125.5 million customers at 30 June 2009.
EBITDA margin rose in the second quarter to 35.4% from 34.7% in the first quarter as a result of cost savings and reorganisation, which included a slowdown in capital expenditure and rationalisation in its 2G networks, IT and fixed legacy services.
This helped push up net income up 2.3% to €2.58bn.