Multinational telecoms giant Orange Group has published its financial results for the six months ended 30 June 2015, claiming to have delivered a very satisfactory commercial performance in the first half of 2015, driven by rapid growth of high-speed fixed and mobile services in Europe and sustained growth in Africa and Middle East.
In the period under review, the France-based company generated a total turnover of EUR19.557 billion (USD21.58 billion), a marginal 0.6% decline year-on-year; excluding the impact of regulatory measures (EUR121 million) revenues were stable. The slight 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 (up by 5.6% y-o-y). However, the company highlighted that the development represents an improvement on the 3.6% decrease in revenues reported in H1 2014. Restated EBITDA for H1 2015 stood at EUR5.807 billion, down 1.2% on a comparable basis from EUR5.879 billion in the year-earlier period, with a margin of 29.7% (down from 29.9%). Capital expenditures in the quarter under review totalled EUR2.672 billion, up 6.5% from EUR2.508 billion a year earlier.
In operational terms, Orange Group claimed 248.251 million customers worldwide at the end of June 2015, up from 237.397 million twelve months earlier. Mobile subscribers accounted for 189.824 million of these customer accounts. In its domestic market, Orange reported that its subscriber base reached 27.507 million customers, a 2.2% increase year-on-year (+588,000 net additions). Elsewhere, Orange reported subscriber growth in the likes of Spain (where it claimed a user base of 12.856 million) and Poland (15.587 million), while Belgium and Luxembourg had signed up a combined total of 3.950 million mobile users by end-June 2015, down from 3.964 million year ago. Total mobile customers in other European countries reached 48.236 million, up from 47.698 million in 2Q14, while Africa and the Middle East contributed a total of 101.959 million, an increase of 11.1% y-o-y, mainly due to growth in Mali, Congo, Madagascar, Kenya, Niger, Guinea and Cameroon. Orange’s consolidated fixed broadband user base climbed to 16.207 million by end-June, a 3.2% improvement on the 15.706 million reported in Q2 2014, with France leading the pack in terms of net additions (323,000), followed by Spain (211,000).
Commenting on the results, Stephane Richard, chairman and CEO of the Orange Group, said: ‘We are particularly pleased with these results which mark a return to revenue growth in the second quarter, excluding regulation, for the first time since 2011. We delivered a very good commercial performance especially in France, Belgium, Romania and throughout the Africa and Middle East region. This dynamic commercial activity is underpinned by significant investment in very high-speed fixed and mobile broadband and the Orange team’s daily commitment to our customers, both of which form part of our Essentials 2020 strategic plan. Through these efforts, we now have more than twelve million 4G customers in Europe and have doubled our level of acquisition of fixed broadband customers in France thanks to fibre.’