France Telecom Posts Fourth Quarter Revenue Rise

France Telecom reported a 3.2% rise in fourth-quarter revenue Thursday, saying it expects 2006 full-year net profit to fall from the previous year.

France Telecom's revenue rose to 13.26 billion euros ($17.18 billion) in October through December from 12.85 billion euros in the year-earlier quarter, the company said.

The company said it expects full-year 2006 net profit to fall to between 4 billion euros and 4.2 billion euros ($5.2 billion and $5.4 billion) from 5.7 billion euros in 2005.

Full-year revenue grew 7.5% to 51.7 billion euros ($67 billion) from 48.01 billion euros the previous year broadly in line with analysts' expectations.

France Telecom said it will raise its dividend for 2006 by 20% to 1.20 ($1.55) per share.

The France Telecom revenue news follows a downward revision Tuesday by Deutsche Telekom for its 2007 sales and earnings expectations, which sent telecoms stocks reeling across Europe.

Shares of France Telecom SA rose as much as 46 euro cents (60 U.S. dollar cents), or 2.2%, to 21.66 euros ($28.06) in Paris.