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A View from the Top: What the CEOs are Saying

Chief executives from around Europe discussed their companies' earnings, opportunities and the challenges they face in 2008 with CNBC Europe Tuesday.

Orascom CEO on “Squawk Box Europe”

“The world is coming to an end when it comes to mobile telephones, so the opportunities are very scarce, you really have to go wherever you get a chance and this (North Korea) is one of the last,” Naguib Sawiris, CEO of Orascom told CNBC Europe.

“The question is where and what is available and my answer to that is very little. The next move will be more the consolidation of the industry.”

Video: Orascom CEO on Telecoms

Marks & Spencer CFO on “Squawk Box Europe”

“In terms of the outlook I think it’s going to be quite difficult for the remainder of 2008 and into 2009,” Ian Dyson, CFO of Marks & Spencer told CNBC Europe.

“There is no doubt that life will be tough for the consumer, we’ve got to respond to that.”

“You have to be cognizant of the environment and therefore probably have to be a bit sharper to a degree in our promotion. The market is very competitive. We will compete, our offers will be good and that will draw customers in.”

Video: M&S CFO on 'Taking the Business Forward'

Centaurus CEO on “Squawk Box Europe”

“The position we took in ATOS Origin was not at all aggressive, we invested in a very friendly way, but then things changed and the management changed and we happened to disagree with what they were doing. That’s why we had to … go as far as proposing new board members to the AGM,” Bernard Oppetit, CEO and chairman of Centaurus told CNBC Europe.

Video: Centaurus CEO on Staples Bidding War

British Land CEO on “Squawk Box Europe”

“What we are seeing is a slowing pace of decline and we’re seeing a shift in emphasis from declines that were spurred by the financial market crisis and the readjustment of investment yields,” Steven Hester, CEO of British Land

“That emphasis is shifting now to an emphasis on the real economy and the extent to which a slowdown in the real economy may or may not impact our customers.”

Video: British Land Geared for Property Slowdown

Imperial Tobacco CEO on “Worldwide Exchange”

“Tobacco is an incredibly resilient sector, it’s particularly resilient in hard economic times. OK, some people may trade down, but people very rarely give up smoking on grounds of economy,” Gareth Davis, CEO of Imperial Tobacco, told CNBC Europe.

Video: Imperial Tobacco CEO on Earnings, Rights Issue