Orange reported broadly flat revenue in Q1, as the impact of promotions by rivals in its two largest markets of France and Spain offset growth in divisions covering enterprise, MEA and rest of Europe.
As other operators have reported over the last year, results in France were impacted by a “fierce promotional environment”, with the Spanish market also subject to greater competition in the first quarter of the year.
Despite a 1.8 per cent year-on-year revenue fall in France and broadly flat figures in Spain, the company booked only a small annual dip of 0.1 per cent in its group revenue to €10.2 billion, as the performance of its other units eased some of the impact.
It does not report net profit on a quarterly basis.
Orange reported growth in its Europe division, which comprises its units on the continent outside of France and Spain, partly attributed to increased converged service uptake.
Chairman and CEO Stephane Richard (pictured) said: “Convergence continues to be an engine for growth and loyalty for the group. We are the European leader in this field with over 10 million customers.”
He added the company recorded “high quality commercial performance in spite of a particularly challenging competitive context, notably in our two principal countries of France and Spain.”
Its MEA segment posted revenue growth of 5.3 per cent on a “very solid” retail performance. Its boost in the region was fuelled by continued rollout of 4G, growing affordability of smartphones and increased data usage.
Although signed after the end of Q1, Orange hailed the expected impact of an updated network sharing agreement in Spain with Vodafone.
In its latest financial statement, the operator said the deal would “extend coverage, increase capacity, prepare for the challenges of 5G and generate significant savings on network expenditure.”
It expects to outlay €300 million on the joint project over the next four years, but believes it will result in €800 million of savings over a ten year period.