Wires

UPDATE 1-Orange Belgium full-year profit rises, sees fewer challenges ahead

(Adds outlook details, fourth quarter results)

Feb 6 (Reuters) - Telecoms firm Orange Belgium reported on Thursday a better-than-expected full-year revenue of 1.34 billion euros ($1.47 billion) and said core profit was 300.1 million euros in the upper range of its outlook.

The subsidiary of Orange Group said revenues and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) climbed in the fourth quarter, driven by higher retail service revenues, improvements in cable operations and cost efficiencies.

Quarterly core profit was above company-compiled consensus at 79.6 million euros, despite headwinds such as European Union regulations on European calls and text messages, brand fees to Orange and a 10.4% fall in wholesale revenues, with the impact from the loss in Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) revenues.

The company said in 2020 it expected fewer challenges and saw full-year adjusted EBITDA in the range of 310 million euros to 330 million euros, broadly in line with analyst estimates of 322.2 million euros.

The Belgium-based company also said it expected low single-digit revenue growth in the new financial year, with a stable total capital expenditures.

The telecom company will propose a dividend increase by 0.10 euros to 0.60 euros per share for 2019 financial year at its annual general meeting in May.

($1 = 0.9092 euros) (Reporting by Maria Trybus, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Edmund Blair)

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