Multinational telecoms giant Orange Group has published its financial results for the nine months ended 30 September 2017, claiming ‘commercial momentum’ remained strong, with Orange France posting its best third quarter results since 2008. In the period under review, the France-based company generated a total turnover of EUR30.6 billion (USD36 billion), a marginal 1% year-on-year increase on a comparable basis. The group reported growth in revenues at its units in France (up 0.2%), Central European countries (5.8%) and Spain (7.9%), which was partly offset by a drop in Poland (down 1%). Adjusted EBITDA for 9M 2017 stood at EUR9.6 billion, up 2.2% on a comparable basis from EUR9.4 billion in the year-earlier period, with a margin of 31.6% (up from 31.2%). Capital expenditures in the period under review totalled EUR4.9 billion, up 2.8% from EUR4.7 billion a year earlier.
In operational terms, Orange Group claimed 269 million customers (excluding MVNOs) worldwide at the end of September 2017, up from 256 million twelve months earlier. Mobile subscribers accounted for 208 million of these customer accounts, with 73% of these being post-paid users. In its domestic market, Orange reported that its subscriber base reached 31.6 million, a 7.2% increase y-o-y (over two million net additions), with 21.8 million of those subscribed to mobile services (excluding M2M). Elsewhere, Orange reported subscriber growth in the likes of Spain (where it claimed a user base of 15.9 million, up 1.6% y-o-y), and Belgium and Luxembourg (3.9 million), while the Central European countries of Romania, Slovakia and Moldova had signed up a combined total of 14.9 million mobile users by end-September 2017, down from 15.3 million a year earlier. Africa and the Middle East contributed a total of 126.7 million subscribers, an increase of 11.6% y-o-y, mainly due to growth in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Liberia, Cameroon, Niger and Cote d’Ivoire. Orange’s consolidated fixed broadband user base climbed to 19.3 million by end-September, a 5.2% improvement on the 18.4 million reported in 9M16, of which 4.3 million were fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) subscriptions (2.9 million in September 2016).
Commenting on the results, Stephane Richard, chairman and CEO of the Orange Group, said: ‘This quarter demonstrates very good momentum at Orange, supported more than ever by investment in customer experience and our networks. We attracted nearly half a million mobile contract customers and 321,000 fibre customers in France and the Europe segment in the past three months. Despite new roaming regulation in Europe, we delivered revenue growth for the ninth consecutive quarter and adjusted EBITDA growth of 2.1%. Excluding regulatory changes, adjusted EBITDA rose 4.4%.’