Multinational telecoms giant Orange Group has published its financial results for the three months ended 31 March 2016, 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 EUR10.009 billion (USD12.4 billion), a marginal 0.6% increase year-on-year. The group reported a drop in revenues at its units in France (down 0.7%) and Poland (4.2%), which was partly offset by strong growth in Africa and Middle East (up 4.4%), led by Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Mali and Guinea. Restated EBITDA for Q1 2016 stood at EUR2.569 billion, down 1.6% on a comparable basis from EUR2.611 billion in the year-earlier period, with a margin of 25.7% (down from 26.2%). Capital expenditures in the quarter under review totalled EUR1.457 billion, up 10.4% from EUR1.320 billion a year earlier.
In operational terms, Orange Group claimed 252.211 million customers worldwide at the end of March 2016, up from 246.918 million twelve months earlier. Mobile subscribers accounted for 191.049 million of these customer accounts, with 65.6% of these being pre-paid users. In its domestic market, Orange reported that its subscriber base reached 28.612 million customers, a 4.9% increase y-o-y (+1.332 million net additions). Elsewhere, Orange reported subscriber growth in the likes of Spain (where it claimed a user base of 15.388 million, up 20.5% y-o-y), Poland (16.265 million, up 11.0%) and Belgium and Luxembourg (3.088 million), while the Central European countries of Romania, Slovakia and Moldova had signed up a combined total of 15.012 million mobile users by end-March 2016, down from 16.008 million a year ago. Africa and the Middle East contributed a total of 111.864 million, an increase of 11.2% y-o-y, mainly due to growth in Cote d’Ivoire, Niger, Botswana and Cameroon. Orange’s consolidated fixed broadband user base climbed to 17.776 million by end-March, a 10.2% improvement on the 16.134 million reported in Q1 2015, with Spain leading the pack in terms of net additions (1.782 million), followed by France (409,000). Fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) subscriptions, meanwhile, increased three-fold to 2.226 million, up from 830,000 in 1Q15.
Commenting on the results, Stephane Richard, chairman and CEO of the Orange Group, said: ‘In Europe, we doubled the number of our 4G customers in just one year, reaching 20 million. We also reaffirmed our status as the leading fibre operator in Europe where we more than doubled the number of fibre customers to in excess of 2.2 million, principally driven by France and Spain with the successful integration of Jazztel. During the quarter, we also continued the development of our operations in Africa by becoming an operator in Liberia, consolidating our presence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and investing in Africa Internet Group, the e-commerce leader on the continent.’