Orange said that in the first quarter of 2016 its business was “very positive across all regions”, across high-speed fixed and mobile services in Europe and the development of mobile services in Africa and Middle East.
“These good results are the fruit of our sustained investment efforts in very high speed fixed and mobile broadband, in line with our Essentials 2020 plan,” Stephane Richard (pictured), chairman and CEO of Orange Group, commented.
The company reported EBITDA of €2.45 billion, essentially flat year-on-year, on revenue of €10 billion, which was also essentially flat (growth was 0.6 per cent).
While the revenue growth was small, Orange noted that this marked the third consecutive quarter of growth, after a prolonged period of shrinkage.
While its revenue from France is still falling (in this case attributed to a “more pronounced downturn in national roaming”), the rate at which this is happening has slowed to 0.7 per cent (Q1 2016 revenue was €4.7 billion).
Indeed, the company said that excluding national roaming, mobile service performance improved, while fixed service revenue was flat.
Growth resumed in Spain (revenue up 1.8 per cent to €1.2 billion), after nine consecutive quarters of decline, with a “gradual recovery of mobile services” aided by strong 4G growth.
Revenue in Poland shrank by 4.2 per cent to €642 million, with benefits from a growth in mobile equipment sales not offsetting a 2.1 per cent decrease in mobile service revenue and an 8.7 per cent drop in fixed services.
And the rate of growth in its Africa and Middle East is still healthy – up 4.4 per cent year-on-year to €1.3 billion. Mobile services saw growth led by Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Egypt and Guinea, with seven countries in the region already marketing 4G.
In total, Orange has 191 million mobile customers, of which 111.9 million are in Africa & Middle East.
It ended the period with 20 million 4G customers, doubling year-on-year. Some 8.7 million of these were in its home market of France, with 5.8 million in Spain and 2.4 million in Poland.