Orange Group has published its financial results for the three months ended 30 September 2021, claiming a ‘sustained commercial performance’ while confirming all of its 2021 objectives. In the period under review, the France-based company generated a total turnover of EUR10.508 billion (USD12.5 billion), a 0.4% year-on-year decrease on a comparable basis (0.7% decrease on historical basis). The company said that excluding co-financing, revenues increased 1.3% y-o-y. The solid performance of the Africa & Middle East unit (up 12.0%) and the results of its Europe segment (excluding Spain), which were up 2% annually, were offset by the revenue declines in France (down 4.1%) and Spain (down 4.4%). EBITDAaL for Q3 2021 stood at EUR3.550 billion, down 0.7% from EUR3.584 billion in the year-earlier period. Capital expenditures in the period under review totalled EUR1.709 billion, down 1.0% from EUR1.730 billion in 3Q20.
The group is maintaining its financial objectives for 2021 after the allocation of a EUR2.2 billion tax refund received at the end of 2020: stable but negative EBITDAaL, eCAPEX of EUR7.6 to EUR7.7 billion, organic cash flow from telecoms activities of over EUR2.2 billion and net debt/EBITDAaL ratio for telecom activities remaining at around 2x in the medium term.
In operational terms, Orange Group claimed 266.462 million customers (excluding MVNOs) worldwide at the end of September 2021, up from 256.983 million twelve months earlier. Mobile subscriptions accounted for 221.788 million customer accounts, with 63.9% of these being pre-paid users. In France, Orange reported that its subscriber base reached 35.099 million, a 1.6% increase y-o-y (around 568,000 net additions), with 10.325 million of those subscribed to M2M.
Elsewhere, Orange reported subscription growth in the likes of Poland (where it claimed a user base of 16.590 million, up 5.9% y-o-y) and Belgium and Luxembourg (5.144 million, 6.6%), while the Central European countries of Romania, Slovakia and Moldova had signed up a combined total of 14.447 million mobile subscriptions by September 2021, flat y-o-y, and Spain 16.238 million (up 1.3%). Africa and the Middle East contributed a total of 134.269 million subscriptions, an increase of 6.3% y-o-y. Orange’s consolidated fixed broadband user base climbed to 22.323 million by September 2021, a 4.8% improvement on the 21.301 million reported a year earlier, of which 11.270 million were fibre-to-the-home (FTTH)/cable subscriptions (8.997 million in 3Q20). Fixed LTE and other technologies accounted for 1.950 million subscriptions (1.743 million in September 2020).
Stephane Richard, Chairman and CEO of Orange Group, said: ‘Orange’s sustained commercial performance in the third quarter, marked by solid momentum in retail services across all the countries where we are present, allows us to confirm all of our financial commitments. In an economy still showing the effects of the health crisis, including the acceleration of the digital transformation, our customers’ appetite for very high-speed access is evidenced in their take up of fibre and 5G, and of our convergent offers.’