(RTTNews) - French telecommunications operator Orange SA (ORAN) reported Thursday that its net income for fiscal year 2020 surged 56.9 percent to 5.06 billion euros from 3.22 billion euros in the prior year.
The increase was mainly from a tax refund of 2.246 billion euros recognized at the 2020 year-end following the French Council of State's finding in the Group's favor in the matter of a long-running tax dispute.
Group EBITDAaL for the year declined 1.0 percent to 12.7 billion euros from 12.9 billion euros in the prior year.
Group operating income decreased 6.9 percent to 5.52 billion euros from 5.93 billion euros on a historical basis. The decrease was mainly due to the 176 million euros decline in EBITDAaL on a historical basis and the 162 million euros increase in net expenses related to significant litigation following a reassessment of the risk related to various disputes.
Orange Group revenues rose 0.3 percent year-over-year on a comparable basis to 42.27 billion euros. This growth was driven by the strong trend in wholesale services thanks to the co-financing of the fiber network in France and to convergent services, which posted respective growth rates of 4.4 percent and 2.1 percent.
Looking ahead to fiscal 2021, Orange forecast stable but negative EBITDAaL, about +1 percent before the allocation of the tax refund.
The Group also confirmed its objective to generate organic cash flows between 3.5 billion euros and 4 billion euros in 2023.
For fiscal 2020, Orange noted that the shareholders' meeting on May 18, 2021 will vote on a dividend payout of 0.70 euros per share plus 0.20 euros per share linked to the French Council of State's favorable decision in the matter of a long-running tax dispute.
Taking into account the 0.40 euros interim dividend paid on December 9, 2020, the balance of the dividend to be proposed to the Shareholders' Meeting will be 0.50 euros per share, to be paid in cash on June 17, 2021.
For the 2021 financial year, a dividend of 0.70 euros per share will be proposed to the 2022 Shareholders' Meeting. An interim dividend of 0.30 euros per share will be paid in December 2021.
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