CORRECTED: Orange reports profit plunge, shares fall

French telecom group France Telecom/Orange reported a plunge in net profit for the first half of the year on Thursday, but held to its forecasts.

The group said that net profit had fallen by 38 percent to 1.2 billion euros ($1.58 billion) mainly because of a 14.2-percent slump in earnings before interest, tax and amortisation to 495 million euros.

But the group said it was holding to its targets for the full year.

The company said that sales had fallen by 5.7 percent to 20.6 billion euros.

"The firm advances in Spain and the Africa, Middle East zone compensate partly for a fall of sales in France, in Poland and in Belgium," the company said in a statement.

The price of shares in the group was showing a fall of 4.65 percent to 7.39 euros in early trading. The overall CAC 40 index of leading shares was down 0.18 percent.