Orange Group has published its financial results for the three months ended 31 March 2021, claiming ‘excellent sales momentum across the group, underpinning the stabilisation of EBITDAaL’. In the period under review, the France-based company generated a total turnover of EUR10.315 billion (USD12.4 billion), a 0.5% year-on-year increase on a comparable basis (0.8% decrease on historical basis). The company said that the solid performance of the Africa & Middle East unit (up 7.1%, its best first quarterly performance in ten years) and the results of its Europe segment (excluding Spain), which were up 2.2% annually, more than offset the revenue decline in France (down 0.2%) and Spain (down 7.4%). EBITDAaL for Q1 2021 stood at EUR2.565 billion, down 0.3% from EUR2.573 billion in the year-earlier period. Capital expenditures in the period under review totalled EUR1.760 billion, up 12.4% from EUR1.566 billion in 1Q20.
In operational terms, Orange Group claimed 261.609 million customers (excluding MVNOs) worldwide at the end of March 2021, up from 253.725 million twelve months earlier. Mobile subscribers accounted for 216.624 million customer accounts, with 64% of these being pre-paid users. In France, Orange reported that its subscriber base reached 34.837 million, a 1.1% increase y-o-y (around 386,000 net additions), with 10.318 million of those subscribed to M2M.
Elsewhere, Orange reported subscriber growth in the likes of Poland (where it claimed a user base of 15.800 million, up 2.4% y-o-y) and Belgium and Luxembourg (4.961 million, 4.9%), while the Central European countries of Romania, Slovakia and Moldova had signed up a combined total of 14.222 million mobile users by end-March 2021, down 1.0% from 14.373 million a year earlier, and Spain 15.912 million (down 1.2%). Africa and the Middle East contributed a total of 130.893 million subscribers, an increase of 6.0% y-o-y. Orange’s consolidated fixed broadband user base climbed to 21.913 million by March 2021, a 5.5% improvement on the 20.776 million reported a year earlier, of which 10.230 million were fibre-to-the-home (FTTH)/cable subscriptions (8.105 million in 1Q20). Fixed LTE and other technologies accounted for 1.863 million subscribers (1.495 million in March 2020).
Stephane Richard, Chairman and CEO of Orange Group, said: ‘In spite of the effects of the health crisis which remained significant in the first quarter, the group demonstrated its resilience, maintaining revenue growth (+0.5%) and stabilising EBITDAaL (-0.3%). Revenues in particular were sustained by the remarkable performance in Africa and the Middle East where Orange posted growth of more than 7% and passed the threshold of 130 million mobile customers. Growth reached 2.2% in the Europe segment excluding the Spanish market where recovery remains a priority. The Enterprise segment continues to improve following the difficulties faced in the second half of 2020 resulting from the first lockdown period. IT and integration services also advanced strongly, primarily in Cloud Computing, and Digital and Data, which saw annual revenue increases of 5% and 11% respectively.’