Orange keeps goals as cost cuts help stabilise margin

PARIS, July 29 Tue Jul 29, 2014 1:38am EDT

PARIS, July 29 (Reuters) - Telecom operator Orange confirmed its annual profit and debt targets after it managed to stabilise its margins in the second quarter helped by ongoing cost cuts and smaller sales declines in France and Poland than a year ago.

France's largest carrier, which is 27 percent owned by the state, posted second-quarter sales of 9.79 billion euros (13.15 billion US dollar) and restated earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 3.12 billion.

This was in line with analysts' average expectations for revenue of 9.79 billion euros and EBITDA of 3.09 billion, according to a consensus provided by Orange.

"We remain focused on lightening Orange's cost structure... and have increased our target for lowering indirect costs and now aim to achieve a reduction of more than 300 million euros in 2014," Chief Executive Stephane Richard said in a statement on Tuesday.

The earlier cost-cutting target was for 250 million euros. (1 US dollar = 0.7447 euro) (Reporting by Leila Abboud; Editing by James Regan)