French telco Orange has reported accelerated growth in 3rd quarter revenue and restated EBITDA, driven by very high-speed broadband and convergence.
The Group said it achieved a solid commercial performance in the 3rd quarter of 2016, driven by, with 845,000 net mobile contract additions and 348,000 additional fibre customers. There were 25.5 million 4G customers in Europe at September 30th 2016 (1.7x increase in one year) and 9.8 million customers of convergent offers at that date (+11 per cent year on year).
In France, mobile contract net additions remained at a high level (+187,000 in the 3rd quarter), confirming the attractiveness of Orange’s segmented offers. Fixed broadband was also very buoyant, with 134,000 net additions in the 3rd quarter, led by fibre (+126,000) with 1.308 million customers at September 30th.
There were 8.2 million TV customers at September 30th, compared with 7.7 million at September 30th 2015 on a comparable basis, a year-on-year increase of 7.1 per cent.
In Spain, fixed broadband growth continued to be very strong with 194,000 net fibre additions in the 3rd quarter and 1.411 million fibre customers at 30 September 2016. Mobile contracts climbed steadily, with 94,000 net additions in the 3rd quarter, a stronger performance than in the 3rd quarter of 2015.
Spanish TV services also saw strong growth, with 458,000 customers at September 30th – 101 per cent year-on-year – led by the success of content offers and, in particular, top flight football.
In Poland, the commercial performance was very satisfactory with 309,000 net mobile contract additions (the highest level in several years), after three quarters of already strong growth. In Belgium, the mobile contract customer base rose for the sixth consecutive quarter.
In Africa and the Middle East, the mobile customer base at September 30th was 113.5 million customers and included Tigo in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (3.4 million customers) and Cellcom in Liberia (1.5 million customers), both of which were consolidated in the 3rd quarter.
Revenues reached 10.323 billion euros in the 3rd quarter of 2016, up 0.8 per cent , after rising 0.3 per cent in the 1st half (on a comparable basis). At 30 September 2016, revenues had increased 0.5 per cent. The improving trend was confirmed despite the impact of the decline of national roaming in France and of roaming price reductions in Europe.
Growth accelerated in Spain, rising 7.8 per cent in the 3rd quarter after an increase of 6.2 per cent in the 2nd quarter.
Growth resumed in the Belgium and Luxembourg segment (+1.7 per cent), and the trend improved in the Enterprise segment (+0.7 per cent). France posted a modest decline of 0.6 per cent in the 3rd quarter, while revenues rose 2.5 per cent in Africa and the Middle East in the 3rd quarter following growth of 2.3 per cent in the 2nd quarter.
For the full-year 2016, Orange confirms that restated EBITDA will be greater than that of 2015 on a comparable basis. This objective will be supported by continued commercial momentum, investments, and efforts to improve the cost structure.
Commenting on the publication of the results for the first nine months of 2016, Stéphane Richard, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of the Orange Group, stated: “The third quarter was again marked by a strong commercial performance, reflecting the success of Essentiels2020 – our strategy of differentiation through investment in high-speed broadband networks and the reinvention of our customer relationships. This performance can be seen in the accelerated growth of our revenues and restated EBITDA and enables us to confirm all of our objectives for 2016.”