Multinational telecoms operator Orange Group has published its financial results for the three months ended 31 March 2020, claiming ‘continued growth in Revenue and EBITDAaL at the onset of the COVID-19 crisis.’ In the period under review, the France-based company generated a total turnover of EUR10.394 billion (USD11.3 billion), a 1.0% year-on-year increase on a comparable basis (2.1% on historical basis). The group reported growth in revenues at its units in France (0.6%), Europe (0.8%), Africa and the Middle East (7.1%) and Enterprise (5.6%), partly offset by a decline in Spain (2.4%). EBITDAaL for 1Q20 stood at EUR2.602 billion, up 0.5% from EUR2.588 billion in the year-earlier period. Capital expenditures in the period under review totalled EUR1.580 billion, down 3.1% from EUR1.631 billion in Q1 2019.
In operational terms, Orange Group claimed 253.725 million customers (excluding MVNOs) worldwide at the end of March 2020, up from 250.248 million twelve months earlier. Mobile subscribers accounted for 208.532 million customer accounts, with 64.1% of these being post-paid users. In France, Orange reported that its subscriber base reached 34.451 million, a 2.7% increase y-o-y (over 931,000 net additions), with 9.976 million of those subscribed to M2M.
Elsewhere, Orange reported subscriber growth in the likes of Poland (where it claimed a user base of 15.436 million, up 4.0% y-o-y) and Belgium and Luxembourg (4.728 million, 7.3%), while the Central European countries of Romania, Slovakia and Moldova had signed up a combined total of 14.373 million mobile users by end-March 2020, down 0.5% from 14.445 million a year earlier, and Spain 16.109 million (down 0.5%). Africa and the Middle East contributed a total of 123.434 million subscribers, an increase of 2.5% y-o-y. Orange’s consolidated fixed broadband user base climbed to 20.776 million by end-March 2020, a 2.5% improvement on the 20.275 million reported a year earlier, of which 8.105 million were fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) subscriptions (6.714 million in 1Q19).
Stephane Richard, Chairman and CEO of Orange Group, said: ‘During this first quarter, the final weeks of which were struck by an unprecedented crisis linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, the group continued its growth momentum in terms of revenues (0.5%). This growth has been underpinned by strong performances in our Africa & Middle East business, progress in the Enterprise market, in France and in Europe. We recorded a solid performance in our retail operations, although this was mitigated in the second half of March by the closure of the vast majority of our stores in Europe.’