International telecoms giant Orange Group has published its financial results for the three months ended 30 September 2016, claiming to have achieved ‘solid commercial performance’ driven by very high-speed broadband and convergence. In the period under review, the France-based company generated a total turnover of EUR10.323 billion (USD11.2 billion), a marginal 0.8% increase year-on-year on a comparable basis (and up by 0.4% y-o-y on historical basis), despite the impact of ‘the decline of national roaming in France and roaming price reductions in Europe.’ The operator said that the financial performance of its units in Europe were gradually improving, with revenue declines limited to 0.6% (France) and 3.9% (Poland), while growth resumed in Belgium and Luxembourg (1.7%) and accelerated in Spain (7.8%). The group also reported strong growth in Africa and Middle East (up by 2.5% y-o-y on comparable basis and 5.1% on historical basis), led by Egypt, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire and Mali. Restated EBITDA for Q3 2016 stood at EUR3.597 billion, up 1.6% on a comparable basis (1.0% on historical basis) from EUR3.540 billion in the year-earlier period, with a margin of 34.9% (up from 34.6%). Capital expenditures (excluding licences) in the quarter under review totalled EUR1.566 billion, up 0.5% from EUR1.559 billion a year earlier.
In operational terms, Orange Group claimed 255.515 million customers worldwide at the end of September 2016, down from 263.335 million twelve months earlier. Mobile subscribers accounted for 194.458 million of these customer accounts, marginally up by 0.2% y-o-y. In its domestic market, Orange reported that its subscriber base reached 29.508 million customers, a 4.5% increase y-o-y (+1.282 million net additions). Elsewhere, Orange reported subscriber growth in the likes of Spain (where it claimed a user base of 15.846 million) and Poland (16.394 million), while Belgium and Luxembourg had signed up a combined total of 3.925 million mobile users by end-September 2016, down from 3.974 million year ago. Total mobile customers in Orange’s European markets reached 51.421 million, up from 50.174 million in 3Q15, while Africa and the Middle East contributed a total of 113.530 million, an increase of 2.1% y-o-y, mainly due to growth in Cote d’Ivoire, Morocco, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Egypt. Orange’s consolidated fixed broadband user base climbed to 18.059 million by end-September, a 3.3% improvement on the 17.942 million reported in Q3 2015, with France leading the pack in terms of net additions (443,000), followed by Spain (197,000).