Orange CEO Christel Heydemann (pictured) underlined the importance of the recently completed merger of its Spanish business with Masmovil’s local unit during the company’s Q1 results statement, where the operator highlighted continued growth in the Middle East and Africa.

The executive asserted the finalisation of the deal in Spain punctuated a very good start to the year and was a major step forward in the European part of its strategic plan.

Elsewhere in Europe the company noted revenue growth in France from its retail operation, while in the B2B segment it booked “stable” revenue with improvements in sales from its cybersecurity and IT and integration services.

“Orange Business continues to execute its transformation plan with several important milestones achieved this quarter, notably the implementation of the cost reduction plan,” Heydemann added.

The company noted its Middle East and Africa unit reported double-digit revenue growth for the fourth consecutive quarter, up 11 per cent on a comparable basis to €1.8 billion.

In the region it recorded an almost 16 per cent year-on-year growth in earnings from mobile data and an above 23 per cent increase in its mobile money operations. It also booked significant increases in fixed broadband and B2B.

Across the whole group, Orange reported revenue up 2.1 per cent to €9.9 billion, with data adjusted to take into account the change in its unit in Spain. Net profit is not disclosed for Q1.