While an improved domestic performance and overseas growth boosted Telecom Italia's (TI's) first quarter revenues, France Telecom-Orange (FT-O) enjoyed a less successful start to 2012, with its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) dropping from €3.73 billion to €3.43 billion.
The Italian phone company saw its EBITDA rise by 1.2 percent compared to the corresponding period of 2011, as earnings reached €2.96 billion.
TI's revenues hit €7.39 billion, up 4.5 percent on the opening quarter of last year, with a 10.4 percent year-on-year rise in net income, to €606 million.
First quarter revenues at TIM Participacoes, TI's Brazilian interest, increased by around 29 percent, it recently announced, boosting the company's performance, while Telecom Argentina saw earnings grow by 11 percent.
In comparison, FT-O reported consolidated revenues of €10.9 billion in the three months to the end of March, down 1.8 percent on the same period of last year on a comparable basis.
The firm saw French revenues fall from €5.6 billion to €5.4 billion in comparable year-on-year terms, although Spain revenues rose from €959 million to €981 million, and revenues went up by 6.8 percent in Africa and the Middle East, with a recovery witnessed in the Ivory Coast and Egypt.
Franco Bernabe, chief executive of TI, welcomed his firm's first quarter results, and said its debt reduction plans remain on track.
He said: "The cash-flow generation forecast over the coming months will enable us to reach our target of around €27.5 billion by the end of 2012."
Meanwhile, FT-O chief executive Stephane Richard was keen to focus on his company's international performance, after admitting that the French market remains "turbulent" because of the launch of a fourth operator - Free Mobile.
He stated: "I would like to highlight the good performance of our international activities, particularly in Spain, which grew 4.5 percent, and in emerging markets, which posted 6.8 percent growth."