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PARIS (AP) _ France Telecom's revenue rose 9 percent in the first nine months of 2002, in part due to a strong performance by its wireless arm Orange.

The heavily indebted French telecommunications operator's revenue rose to 34.4 billion euros ($33.9 billion) in the period ending Sept. 30, up from 31.6 billion euros in the same period last year, the company said in a statement.

The company said revenue would increase by only 8 to 9 percent for the year as a whole, backing off its earlier forecast of double-digit growth.

Chief Financial Officer Jean-Louis Vinciguerra said Tuesday that France Telecom would intensify actions to slash costs in the fourth quarter in a bid to meet full-year profit targets.

Orange's nine-month revenue jumped 13 percent to 12.5 billion euros ($12.3 billion), offsetting a 6.9-percent decline in France Telecom's fixed-line business in France.

France Telecom is struggling under roughly 70 billion euros ($68.9 billion) in debt.