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Mar 6, 2014

Orange pledges stable operating margins despite France woes

PARIS, March 6 (Reuters) – Orange shares jumped to
a four-month high on Thursday after France’s largest telecom
operator forecast stable margins this year and higher core
profit than analysts were expecting.

Orange forecast earnings before interest, tax, depreciation
and amortisation (EBITDA) of 12.1-12.6 billion euros for 2014,
above the Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S poll average of 12.08 billion.

Mar 5, 2014

Four billionaires, one telecoms company up for grabs

PARIS, March 5 (Reuters) – Two French billionaires are vying
to buy telecoms carrier SFR while a third watches closely from
the sidelines. A fourth could be the kingmaker.

SFR’s owner, Vivendi, confirmed receipt of two
offers for France’s second-biggest telecom group on Wednesday.
The bidders are cable operator Numericable
– backed by Patrick Drahi, number 215 on Forbes’
billionaires list – and Bouygues – the family company
of Martin Bouygues, Forbes’ billionaire number 408.

Feb 26, 2014

Bouygues lifts core profit and heats up telco price war

PARIS, Feb 26 (Reuters) – French construction-to-telecoms
group Bouygues unveiled higher core profit and a new
low-cost fixed line package on Wednesday, heating up a domestic
price war that has been weighing on revenue.

The conglomerate said it would rely on a robust construction
business and competitive telephone packages this year after
savings at its telecom and television units helped lift
operating profit by 5 percent in 2013.

Feb 25, 2014

SFR weighs on Vivendi profits ahead of spin-off

PARIS, Feb 25 (Reuters) – French media-and-telecoms company
Vivendi posted an fall in underlying 2013 profits on
Tuesday hit by tough competition for its domestic mobile brand
SFR, which is set to be spun off.

Vivendi, which is restructuring to pay down debt and focus
on media, reported a 23.1 percent fall in adjusted earnings
before interest, tax and amortisation to 2.4 billion euros, hit
by the cost of revamping SFR.

Feb 24, 2014

Vivendi and Altice discuss SFR-Numericable tie-up

PARIS (Reuters) – French media group Vivendi (VIV.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) confirmed on Monday it had been approached by cable group Altice (ATCE.AS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) over a tie-up between mobile operator SFR and cable firm Numericable (NUME.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), but said it had not yet received any formal offer.

The proposal being discussed would value Vivendi unit SFR at around 15 billion euros ($20.6 billion) and would see Vivendi keep a stake of roughly 30 percent in the new company, a source close to SFR told Reuters earlier. A second source cautioned that it remained to be negotiated what proportion of the new company the two sides would own.

Feb 24, 2014

Vivendi, Altice discuss SFR-Numericable deal -sources

PARIS, Feb 24 (Reuters) – French media group Vivendi
and cable group Altice are in discussions
over a tie-up between mobile operator SFR and cable firm
Numericable, sources close to the talks said on
Monday.

No agreement has yet been reached but the proposal being
discussed would value SFR, a unit of Vivendi, at around 15
billion euros ($20.6 billion) and would see Vivendi keep a stake
of roughly 30 percent stake in the newly merged company, one of
the sources said. A second source cautioned that it remained to
be negotiated what proportion of the new company the two sides
would own after the tie-up.

Feb 19, 2014

France’s TF1 warns TV ad market could shrink again

PARIS, Feb 19 (Reuters) – France’s largest private
broadcaster, TF1, said the TV advertising market could
shrink again this year after it posted lower sales and flat net
profit for the fourth quarter of 2013.

“In a gloomy economic climate with no sign of recovery and
visibility still poor, the net television advertising market
could see a contraction in 2014,” TF1 said on Wednesday.

Feb 13, 2014

Publicis posts weak Q4 on emerging markets

PARIS, Feb 13 (Reuters) – Advertising agency Publicis
fell short of its annual growth target after a
slowdown in emerging markets such as China and India caused the
fourth quarter to end with a whimper.

Publicis, which is working to complete a $35 billion merger
with U.S. rival Omnicom to create the world’s biggest ad
group, said the weakness was temporary and predicted a rebound
to 4 percent organic sales growth in 2014.

Feb 11, 2014

Lagardere raises profit forecast for 2013

PARIS (Reuters) – French media group Lagardere (LAGA.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) reported weaker than expected sales on Tuesday but said profits were higher than previously predicted, citing improving trends in the book publishing and travel retailing business at the end of the year.

Chief Executive Arnaud Lagardere also reaffirmed the group’s intention to return to shareholders some of the 1 billion euros ($1.4 billion) it got from the sale to Vivendi (VIV.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) of Lagardere’s 20 percent stake in pay-TV business Canal+ France.

Feb 7, 2014

BPCE supervisory board backs CEO Perol over probe

PARIS, Feb 7 (Reuters) – The supervisory board of French
bank BPCE has backed CEO Francois Perol as he prepares to face
an investigation into whether his 2009 appointment represented a
conflict of interest because of his previous work as a
government adviser.

The board of France’s second-biggest retail lender on Friday
pledged its unanimous support to the former aide to ex-French
President Nicolas Sarkozy, who faced questions from an
investigating magistrate on Thursday and was subsequently placed
under judicial investigation.

    • About Hyungwon

      "As a photojournalist for more than a quarter of century, Hyungwon Kang has been a witness to history. Kang has worked for Reuters, The Associated Press, Los Angeles Times and TIME Magazine. During his tenure in journalism, Kang has served as a Photographer, Photo Editor, Front Page Photo Editor, Photo Assignment Editor, and as a Manager of Photo Department. Currently, Kang works as Senior Picture Editor at Reuters Pictures North America Desk. Duties include assigning and editing of news, sports and feature coverage of the U.S. and Canada as well as participating in news coverage as needed."
      Joined Reuters:
      2001
      Languages:
      English, Korean, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese
      Awards:
      Pulitzer, 1993
      Pulitzer, 1999
    • More from Hyungwon

      Publications:
      "From the Streets to the Olympics, (Korea, Democracy and the 24th Olympiad, 1987-88)
      Art Space publications, 1989"
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