Multinational telecoms giant Orange Group has raised its FY2015 outlook on the back of what it claimed was a ‘solid performance’ in the three months ended 30 September 2015. The company said that it now ‘aims to achieve the high end of the range for the objectives initially set for 2015’, with forecast EBITDA of at least EUR12.3 billion (USD13.91 billion).
In the period under review, the France-based company generated a total turnover of EUR10.284 billion, a marginal 0.5% increase year-on-year on a comparable basis, reflecting ‘renewed growth in mobile services’ (+1.2%). The operator said that the financial performance of its units in Europe were gradually improving, with revenue declines limited to 0.9% (France), 1.7% (Spain) and 2.8% (Poland); the 0.9% decrease in Europe was partly offset by strong growth in Africa and Middle East (up by 8.2% y-o-y), led by Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Mali, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Guinea. Restated EBITDA for Q3 2015 stood at EUR3.557 billion, up 1.1% on a comparable basis from EUR3.518 billion in the year-earlier period, with a margin of 34.6% (up from 34.4%). Capital expenditures in the quarter under review totalled EUR1.563 billion, up 7.6% from EUR1.453 billion a year earlier.
In operational terms, Orange Group claimed 263.335 million customers worldwide at the end of September 2015, up from 240.805 million twelve months earlier. Mobile subscribers accounted for 201.675 million of these customer accounts. In its domestic market, Orange reported that its subscriber base reached 28.226 million customers, a 4.1% increase year-on-year (+1.111 million net additions). Elsewhere, Orange reported subscriber growth in the likes of Spain (where it claimed a user base of 15.169 million) and Poland (15.693 million), while Belgium and Luxembourg had signed up a combined total of 3.974 million mobile users by end-September 2015, down from 4.020 million year ago. Total mobile customers in Orange’s European markets reached 50.174 million, up from 48.365 million in 3Q14, while Africa and the Middle East contributed a total of 111.177 million, an increase of 17.9% y-o-y, mainly due to growth in Cote d’Ivoire, Morocco, DRC, Madagascar, Kenya, Niger and Cameroon. Orange’s consolidated fixed broadband user base climbed to 17.942 million by end-September, a 3.2% improvement on the 15.832 million reported in Q3 2014, with France leading the pack in terms of net additions (354,000), followed by Spain (299,000).