Orange has posted moderate revenue growth despite a slight dip in the fourth quarter. For the year, the strong performance of Africa & Middle East (up 5.2 per cent) and the solid results of France (up 1.6 per cent) offset the decline in Europe (down 3.5 per cent) and Enterprise (down 1.4 per cent).
The group posted 2020 revenues of €42.3 billion, up 0.3 per cent year-on-year on a comparable basis. This growth was driven by the strong trend in wholesale services thanks to the co-financing of the fibre network in France and to convergent services, which posted respective growth rates of 4.4 per cent and 2.1 per cent. Roaming (customers and visitors) was hit by travel restrictions, while equipment sales fell 9.5 per cent due to store closures.
France and Africa & Middle-East made a positive contribution, posting respective growth rates of 1.6 per cent and 5.2 per cent in 2020. Europe (including Spain) remained under pressure, as did Enterprise, although the latter showed some improvement in the fourth quarter.
There were 11.06 million convergent customers Group-wide at December 31st 2020, up 2.7 per cent year-on-year driven by continuing strong growth in Europe.
Mobile services numbered 214.1 million access lines at December 31st 2020, up 3.3 per cent year-on-year, including 77.4 million contracts, up 4.3 per cent. Fixed services numbered a total of 45.1 million access lines at December 31st 2020, down 0.7 per cent year-on-year. This was primarily due to the sharp 12.4 per cent fall in fixed narrowband access lines, despite continuing strong growth (23.7 per cent) in very high-speed fixed broadband access lines.
Stéphane Richard, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Orange group, said:
“2020 was an extraordinary year, marked by a crisis of unprecedented scale and violence. In this challenging context, with networks showing just how vital they are to society, Orange proved able to adapt and meet the challenges, to continue to offer the very best of our services to our customers.”
“Firstly, in fixed, we continued to connect our clients to fibre. In France, 6.5 million more households were made connectable during 2020. This was an unprecedented performance and a tremendous feat given the context! Worldwide, we now have over 47 million connectable households. In numerous countries, the transition to fibre is accelerating and this is a trend that the health crisis has only increased. Our record commercial performance, for example in France and in Poland, are proof in point.”
“In very high speed mobile broadband, we launched 5G in five countries and will continue the deployment of this disruptive technology in 2021. In France, we have also been named the “best mobile network” for the 10th year in succession and 99 per cent of the population now has access to 4G coverage.”
“Orange succeeded in stabilising its revenues for the year thanks to the quality of its networks. In Africa & Middle East, growth was very strong at more than 5 per cent, still driven mainly by 4G and Orange money.”
“Finally, our actions are paying off as we continue to progress towards the ambitious objectives we set out in our Engage 2025 strategic plan. With respect to the environment, we have reduced our CO2 emissions by 12 per cent. We also opened our first three Orange Digital Centers to promote greater digital inclusivity. Thanks to these solid results, to our carefully managed investments and to greater operational efficiency, we are confirming our objective to generate between €3.5 and €4 billion in Organic Cash Flow in 2023.”