Orange returns to growth in domestic market in H1 2017

27 Jul 2017

Multinational telecoms giant Orange Group has published its financial results for the six months ended 30 June 2017, claiming that ‘commercial momentum’ remained strong in the period under review, supported by convergence and very-high speed fixed and mobile broadband services across Europe coupled with recovery in the provision of mobile services in the Africa and Middle East unit. In the period under review, the France-based company generated a total turnover of EUR20.276 billion (USD23.6 billion), a marginal 1.1% increase year-on-year on a comparable basis. The group reported growth in revenues at its units in France (up 0.2%), Central European countries (5.2%) and Spain (8.7%), which was partly offset by a drop in Poland (down 0.9%). Adjusted EBITDA for H1 2017 stood at EUR5.978 billion, up 2.2% on a comparable basis from EUR5.848 billion in the year-earlier period, with a margin of 29.6% (up from 29.2%). Capital expenditures in the quarter under review totalled EUR3.276 billion, up 3.0% from EUR3.181 billion a year earlier.

In operational terms, Orange Group claimed 268.950 million customers (excluding MVNOs) worldwide at the end of June 2017, up from 249.550 million twelve months earlier. Mobile subscribers accounted for 207.410 million of these customer accounts, with 71.9% of these being post-paid users. In its domestic market, Orange reported that its subscriber base reached 31.150 million, a 7.5% increase y-o-y (+2.184 million net additions), with 21.622 million of those subscribed to mobile services (21.746 million in 1H16). Elsewhere, Orange reported subscriber growth in the likes of Spain (where it claimed a user base of 15.837 million, up 2.2% y-o-y), and Belgium and Luxembourg (3.957 million), while the Central European countries of Romania, Slovakia and Moldova had signed up a combined total of 14.670 million mobile users by end-June 2017, down from 14.835 million a year ago. Africa and the Middle East contributed a total of 127.240 million, an increase of 17.3% y-o-y, mainly due to growth in Mali, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire and Morocco. Orange’s consolidated fixed broadband user base climbed to 19.128 million by end-June, a 5.4% improvement on the 18.146 million reported in H1 2016, with France leading the pack in terms of net additions (367,000), followed by Spain (177,000). Fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) subscriptions, meanwhile, increased by 1.411 million to 3.961 million over the period.

Commenting on the results, Stephane Richard, chairman and CEO of the Orange Group, said: ‘The acceleration seen in the group’s growth was confirmed by the first-half results, and in particular the performance in the second quarter, driven by France, Europe and Africa and the Middle East. In France, we returned to growth for the first time since 2009. The performance in Spain, and more generally across Europe, was excellent, with strong revenue growth underpinned by a significant rise in very high-speed broadband customers. The strategy that we have been following for several quarters, which centred on giving customers an unbeatable experience through convergence around the home and a quality network, is now yielding results.’

Belgium, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, France, Luxembourg, Mali, Morocco, Poland, Spain, Orange Group