Orange takes $4.4 bln writedown on tough Spanish market

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A woman walks past the logo of French telecom operator Orange at the company headquarters in Issy-les-Moulineaux near Paris, France, June 3, 2021. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

  • Stiff competition in Spain hits sales, profits
  • Sees return to core profit growth in Spain in 2023
  • Shares fall

PARIS, July 29 (Reuters) – Orange (ORAN.PA), France’s biggest telecom firm, on Thursday announced a 3.7 billion-euro ($4.4 billion) impairment on the value of its Spanish activities, reflecting competition that has hurt sales and profits in its second-largest market.

Spain has been a headache for Orange over the last few quarters, prompting it to oust its local boss and lay off 485 people in the country, where the company heavily invested to rollout the super-fast broadband fibre technology.

The state-controlled group has faced low-cost competition there, suffering similar problems to when Iliad’s cheap Free Mobile service started a protracted price war in France, whose effects are…

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