Orange held off altering its outlook for the rest of 2020 to give time to gain greater visibility on the impact of the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, as the operator posted a small rise in Q1 revenue driven by continued momentum in Middle East and Africa.
In a statement, Orange said it will consider an update to its financial objectives when publishing its Q2 results, as it expects the impact of the health crisis to become clearer, but reiterated it does not expect a “significant deviation” at the moment.
The company already announced earlier this month it would lower its dividend for 2019 from €0.70 to €0.50 per share.
On to its Q1 performance, CEO Stephane Richard the group was able to continue growth momentum, despite having to face up to the unprecedented crisis in the final weeks.
Revenue rose 1 per cent year-on-year to €10.4 billion, on the back of modest growth of 0.5 per cent in France to €4.4 billion, and a 6.2 per cent rise in Africa and the Middle East to €1.4 billion.
Orange pointed to success in attracting customers to its convergent offering in its home market, and a 51 per cent rise in 4G customers in Africa and the Middle East as growth drivers.
It also experienced 22 per cent revenue growth from its mobile money operations.
The Q1 performance was offset slightly by continued woes in Spain, where revenue decreased 2.4 per cent to €1.3 billion as prices were squeezed by intensifying competition.
High-speed strategy pays-off
Orange further highlighted success of its convergent play across Europe, with customers growing 3 per cent to 10.8 million, while fibre subscribers increased 20 per cent to 7.8 million.
Its 4G customer base crossed the 70 million threshold, of which 26.5 million are in Africa and the Middle East.
“The importance of telecoms in this crisis in ensuring the continued functioning of the economy and of our societies confirms the strategic nature of our activities and provides further confirmation for our strategy in very high-speed networks,” said Richard.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back