International telecoms giant Orange Group has published its financial results for the twelve months ended 31 December 2016, with the operator claiming that ‘commercial momentum remained strong’ driven by very high-speed broadband and convergence. In the twelve-month period under review, the France-based company generated a total turnover of EUR40.918 billion (USD43.1 billion), a marginal 0.6% increase year-on-year on a comparable basis (and up by 1.7% y-o-y on historical basis), despite the impact of ‘the decline of revenues from 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 1.0% (France) and 2.4% (Poland), while growth resumed in Belgium and Luxembourg (0.5%) and accelerated in Spain (6.0%). The group also reported strong growth in Africa and Middle East (up by 2.6% y-o-y on comparable basis and 7.1% on historical basis), led by Jordan, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Adjusted EBITDA for 2016 stood at EUR12.682 billion, up 1.3% on a comparable basis (2.1% on historical basis) from EUR12.524 billion in the year-earlier period, with a margin of 31.0% (up from 30.8%). Capital expenditures (excluding licences) in the year under review totalled EUR6.971 billion, up 3.0% from EUR1.559 billion a year earlier.
In operational terms, Orange Group claimed 262.830 million customers worldwide at the end of December 2016, down from 262.912 million twelve months earlier. Mobile subscribers accounted for 201.732 million of these customer accounts, marginally up by 0.3% y-o-y. In its domestic market, Orange reported that its subscriber base reached 30.033 million customers, a 5.7% increase y-o-y (+1.609 million net additions). Elsewhere, Orange reported subscriber growth in the likes of Spain (where it claimed a user base of 15.918 million) and Poland (15.990 million), while Belgium and Luxembourg had signed up a combined total of 3.956 million mobile users by end-December 2016, down from 4.033 million year ago. Total mobile customers in Orange’s European markets reached 51.011 million, up from 50.400 million in 2015, while Africa and the Middle East contributed a total of 120.688 million, an increase of 9.5% y-o-y, mainly due to growth in DRC (37.8%), Jordan (26.5%), Cote d’Ivoire (14.9%) and Guinea (14.3%). Orange’s consolidated fixed broadband user base climbed to 18.276 million by end-December, a 0.9% improvement on the 18.116 million reported in 2015, with Spain leading the pack in terms of net additions (199,000), followed by France (145,000).