Orange CEO Christel Heydemann (pictured) pointed to the initial execution of its Lead the Future strategic plan unveiled earlier this year as contributing towards a small uplift in revenue in Q1 which was mainly driven by continued growth in Africa and Middle East.

Commenting in Orange’s earnings statement, Heydemann explained it started to execute the plan, pursuing a more value-orientated, commercial strategy.

Along “with our cost controls” the strategy “allows us to partially offset inflation”, Heydemann stated.

Group revenue grew 1.3 per cent year-on-year to €10.6 billion, partly due to growth in retail services and price hikes in Europe.

However, the biggest driver for the company was Africa and the Middle East, with revenue up 9.1 per cent to €1.7 billion on growth across all countries in the region and double-digit rises in nearly half of them.

Orange’s Europe division revenue grew 3.8 per cent to €2.7 billion, driven by retail services and ongoing success in convergence and mobile revenue.

Spain, where the company has encountered struggles in the past, booked 2.8 per cent revenue growth.

A low point came in home market France, where revenue fell 1.8 per cent to €4.3 billion, attributed to a fall in wholesale, while consumer price rises led to a limited increase in churn rate.

Enterprise revenue was flat at €2 billion, with a decrease in legacy fixed activities offsetting growth in IT and integration services.

Revenue from tower unit Totem rose 8.1 per cent to €174 million on a rise in external hosting.

Orange’s mobile financial services unit saw an increase of 14 per cent in accounts opened, giving it 3.1 million customers in total.