Multinational telecoms giant Orange Group has published its financial results for the three months ended 31 March 2015, claiming to have continued its strong commercial performance trend of the previous quarters. In the period under review, the France-based company generated a total turnover of EUR9.672 billion (USD10.5 billion), a marginal 0.9% decline year-on-year, although Orange Group pointed out that the development represented an improvement on the 3.8% decrease in revenues reported in Q1 2014. Excluding the impact of regulatory measures revenues were stable with a 0.3% y-o-y decline in 1Q14, compared to a decline of 3.0% in the previous twelve months. The downturn was mainly attributed to the financial performance of Orange’s units in France, Spain and Belgium, but partly offset by strong growth in Africa and Middle East, led by Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Mali, Guinea and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Restated EBITDA for Q1 2015 stood at EUR2.916 billion, down 1.9% on a comparable basis from EUR2.971 billion in the year-earlier period, with a margin of 30.1% (down from 30.4%). Capital expenditures in the quarter under review totalled EUR1.190 billion, up 3.0% from EUR1.156 billion a year earlier, while network investments represented 59.2% of the group’s CAPEX (up 5.1% y-o-y).
In operational terms, Orange Group claimed 246.918 million customers worldwide at the end of March 2015, up from 240.569 million twelve months earlier. Mobile subscribers accounted for 188.184 million of these customer accounts. In its domestic market, Orange reported that its subscriber base reached 27.280 million customers, a 1.4% increase year-on-year (+366,000 net additions). Elsewhere, Orange reported subscriber growth in the likes of Spain (where it claimed a user base of 12.768 million), Poland (15.518 million) and Moldova (2.854 million), while Belgium and Luxembourg had signed up a combined total of 3.891 million mobile users by end-March 2015, down from 3.970 million year ago. Total mobile customers in Other European countries reached 48.185 million, down from 51.129 million in 1Q14, while Africa and the Middle East contributed a total of 100.552 million, an increase of 10.1% y-o-y, mainly due to growth in Mali, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea and Cameroon. Orange’s consolidated fixed broadband user base climbed to 16.134 million by end-March, a 3.4% improvement on the 15.602 million reported in Q1 2014, with France leading the pack in terms of net additions (282,000), followed by Spain (239,000).
Commenting on the results, Stephane Richard, chairman and CEO of the Orange Group, said: ‘Orange’s commercial performance in the first quarter of 2015 has been very strong across our entire geographic footprint. These numbers testify to the quality of our offers that are tailored to the needs of our customers, as well as the effectiveness of our strategy of differentiation through investment in very high-speed broadband networks. The benefits are already starting to show: we’ve signed up over ten million 4G customers Europe-wide and fibre is proving to be a genuine driver of customer acquisition in both France and Spain. Globally, we now have 247 million customers, of which over 100 million are in Africa and the Middle East. These achievements have enabled us to effectively stabilise our revenues, excluding the impact of regulation.’