Orange pointed to increased sales of converged services and growing uptake of 4G across Europe as leading the company’s growth during the first quarter of 2017.

The company said the number of subscribers signing up to convergence packages across its European footprint grew 11 per cent year-on-year during the quarter to 9.5 million. In a statement, it said the increased uptake of these services was the “catalyst for growth in Europe”.

Orange continued to build-out its 4G network across its European operations and said 58 per cent of its European mobile base is now using the technology, led by its popularity in Spain and its home market of France.

Its Spanish business reported a 42 per cent year-on-year rise in 4G subscribers to 8.2 million, while its home market saw 64 per cent of its “mass market contract” customers on 4G plans – a rise of 15 per cent on the same period of 2016.

Across its entire European footprint, 4G customer numbers were up 48 per cent year-on-year, reaching 29.5 million by end-March.

Data usage at Orange’s Africa and Middle East business grew 31 per cent year-on-year. The company is currently offering 4G services in 11 markets in the region.

Revenue growth
Including its fixed and enterprise operations, the company’s revenue grew 0.8 per cent year on year to €10.1 billion. EBITDA came in at €2.6 billion for the quarter, compared to €2.5 billion in Q1 2016.

Commenting on the company’s performance, Orange chairman and CEO Stephane Richard said: “The first quarter confirms the improvement in the 2016 trend. Revenues are growing, driven by solid commercial performances, particularly in France, Spain and Poland.

“The strategy Orange has pursued over a number of quarters, centred on convergence around the home, the best connectivity in the market due to our sustained investment, and an unparalleled customer experience, is bearing fruit.”

As part of its strategy to offer a fully converged home service, the company last week unveiled its AI home assistant and promised upgrades to its domestic broadband and TV boxes.