Multinational telecoms giant Orange Group has published its financial results for the twelve months ended 31 December 2017, claiming accelerated growth in revenues and EBITDA and a return to growth in operating cash flow. In the period under review, the France-based company generated a total turnover of EUR41.09 billion (USD50.8 billion), a 1.2% year-on-year increase on a comparable basis. The group reported growth in revenues at its units in France (up 0.6%), Central Europe (5.7%) and Spain (7.1%), which was partly offset by a drop in Poland (down 1.4%). Adjusted EBITDA for 2017 stood at EUR12.82 billion, up 2.2% on a comparable basis from EUR12.54 billion in the year-earlier period, with a margin of 31.3% (up from 31.0%). Capital expenditures in the period under review totalled EUR7.21 billion, up 3.4% from EUR6.97 billion a year earlier.
In operational terms, Orange Group claimed 272.81 million customers (excluding MVNOs) worldwide at the end of 2017, up from 262.83 million twelve months earlier. Mobile subscribers accounted for 211.42 million of customer accounts, with 64.7% of these being post-paid users. In its domestic market, Orange reported that its subscriber base reached 31.78 million, a 5.8% increase y-o-y (over 1.7 million net additions), with 21.80 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 15.89 million, up 1.1% y-o-y), and Belgium and Luxembourg (4.04 million, 2.1%), while the Central European countries of Romania, Slovakia and Moldova had signed up a combined total of 14.75 million mobile users by end-December 2017, down 2.6% from 15.15 million a year earlier. Africa and the Middle East contributed a total of 130.54 million subscribers, an increase of 8.2% y-o-y, mainly due to growth in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC, up 24.7%), Cameroon (24.0%), Burkina Faso (26.6%), Liberia (13.2%) and Cote d’Ivoire (13.1%). Orange’s consolidated fixed broadband user base climbed to 19.53 million by end-2017, a 4.7% improvement on the 18.66 million reported a year earlier, of which 4.70 million were fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) subscriptions (3.29 million at end-2016).
Commenting on the results, Stephane Richard, chairman and CEO of the Orange Group, said: ‘2017 was a remarkable year for Orange in more ways than one. The Group delivered an excellent commercial performance, driven by very high-speed broadband. We now have 4.7 million fibre customers and 46 million 4G customers across the Group. This performance has translated into solid financial results. Thanks to a strong fourth quarter, revenues in France returned to growth for the first time since 2009. Spain maintained its impressive growth, while our Africa & Middle East segment recovered strong momentum, with 3% revenue growth year on year. Buoyed by these positive results, the Group’s operating cash flow grew for the first time since 2009.’