© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of French telecom operator Orange is seen at the regional company headquarters in Nantes, France, January 24, 2022. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

PARIS (Reuters) – Orange, France’s biggest telecoms firm, said on Thursday second-quarter core operating profit rose 0.5% from a year earlier, as strong growth from its African and Middle East division offset a fall in sales in its home country and Spain.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation after leases (EBITDAaL) rose to 3.31 billion euros ($3.38 billion) over the period. This matched the average of 14 analyst estimates canvassed by the company.

Second-quarter sales declined by 0.4% on a comparable basis to 10.7 billion euros. Orange also confirmed its full-year targets, including an increase in core operating profits between 2.5% and 3%.

It said it would offer a dividend of 70 euro cents per share for the 2022 fiscal year, in line with its expectations.

($1 = 0.9800 euros)

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