Multinational telecoms giant Orange Group has published its financial results for the three months ended 31 March 2017, claiming that ‘commercial momentum’ remained strong in the quarter, supported by convergence and very-high speed fixed and mobile broadband services across Europe. In the period under review, the France-based company generated a total turnover of EUR10.07 billion (USD10.99 billion), a marginal 0.8% increase year-on-year on a comparable basis. The group reported a drop in revenues at its units in France (down 0.1%) and Belgium and Luxembourg (0.7%), which was partly offset by strong growth in Spain (up 8.5%) and Central European countries (3.2%). Adjusted EBITDA for Q1 2017 stood at EUR2.60 billion, up 2.0% on a comparable basis from EUR2.55 billion in the year-earlier period, with a margin of 25.9% (up from 25.6%). Capital expenditures in the quarter under review totalled EUR1.49 billion, up 2.1% from EUR1.46 billion a year earlier.
In operational terms, Orange Group claimed 265.16 million customers (excluding MVNOs) worldwide at the end of March 2017, up from 252.21 million twelve months earlier. Mobile subscribers accounted for 203.50 million of these customer accounts, with 65.4% of these being pre-paid users. In its domestic market, Orange reported that its subscriber base reached 30.49 million customers, a 6.6% increase y-o-y (+1.88 million net additions). Elsewhere, Orange reported subscriber growth in the likes of Spain (where it claimed a user base of 15.77 million, up 3.5% y-o-y), and Belgium and Luxembourg (3.92 million), while the Central European countries of Romania, Slovakia and Moldova had signed up a combined total of 14.68 million mobile users by end-March 2017, down from 15.01 million a year ago. Africa and the Middle East contributed a total of 123.37 million, an increase of 10.3% y-o-y, mainly due to growth in Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Central African Republic. Orange’s consolidated fixed broadband user base climbed to 18.95 million by end-March, a 5.3% improvement on the 17.99 million reported in Q1 2016, with Spain leading the pack in terms of net additions (788,000), followed by France (504,000). Fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) subscriptions, meanwhile, increased by 1.43 million to 3.65 million, up from 2.23 million in 1Q16.
Commenting on the results, Stephane Richard, chairman and CEO of the Orange Group, said: ‘The first quarter confirms the improvement in the 2016 trend. Revenues are growing, driven by solid commercial performances, particularly in France, Spain and Poland. The strategy Orange has pursued over a number of quarters, centred on convergence around the home, the best connectivity in the market due to our sustained investment, and an unparalleled customer experience, is bearing fruit.’