- The Group’s commercial activity in the 1st quarter of 2016 was very positive across all regions, both in very high-speed fixed and mobile broadband in Europe and in the development of mobile services in Africa and the Middle East.
The Group had 20 million 4G customers at 31 March 2016 (up 2.0x year on year) and 2.226 million fibre customers (up 2.1x in one year on a comparable basis).
In France, fixed broadband recorded 96,000 net additional sales in the 1st quarter, led by fibre (+115,000), which had 1.075 million customers at 31 March 2016. In mobile, net sales of retail convergent offers continued to be very strong (+209,000), with Sosh withstanding the strong competitive pressure in Q1 at the low end of the market, adding +84,000 net sales. There were 8.7 million 4G customers at 31 March 2016, an increase of 92% year on year.
In Spain, fibre rose strongly with +211,000 net additions in the 1st quarter and 1.020 million customers at 31 March 2016 (up 3.2x in one year). 4G also increased sharply, with 5.8 million customers at 31 March 2016.
In Poland, net sales of mobile contracts remained high in the 1st quarter (+214,000). Similarly, Belgium recorded an increase in mobile contracts1 for the fourth consecutive quarter.
In Africa and the Middle East, net mobile sales rebounded significantly in the 1st quarter (+1.6 million customers) after slowing in the 4th quarter of 2015. Africa and the Middle East had 111.9 million mobile customers at 31 March 2016 up 2.8% on a comparable basis, and Orange Money had 17.8 million customers (+34%).
- First quarter 2016 revenues (10.009 billion euros) grew for the third consecutive quarter, up 0.6%, after rising 0.1% in the 4th quarter of 2015 and 0.5% in the 3rd quarter (comparable basis). Growth resumed in Spain (+1.8%) after nine consecutive quarters of decline, while the Belgium and Luxembourg segment rose 2.3% as in the 4th quarter of 2015, and the decline in mobile services in Poland was limited to 2.1%. The Enterprise segment increased 2.1%, led by IT and integration services, while growth continued to be strong in Africa and the Middle East, rising 4.4% in the 1st quarter. Meanwhile, revenues in France declined 0.7%, mostly due to the increased drop in national roaming.
- Underlying operating performance increasing: excluding the impact of the employee shareholding operation2, 1st quarter restated EBITDA rose 0.3% and the restated EBITDA margin fell 0.1 percentage points. Restated EBITDA for the 1st quarter of 2016 was 2.569 billion euros, a decrease of 1.6% on a comparable basis, while the restated EBITDA margin (25.7%) declined 0.6 percentage points. The Group confirms the objective for the full year of higher restated EBITDA in 2016 than in 2015 on a comparable basis.
- CAPEX (1.457 billion euros in the 1st quarter of 2016) rose 10.4% on a comparable basis, in line with the Essentiels2020 strategic plan, representing 14.6% of revenues. CAPEX on fibre rose sharply, mainly in France. CAPEX related to mobile networks continued to be strong, in particular with the continued deployment of 4G and 4G+. At the same time, the programme to improve the customer experience expanded with the opening of new Smart Stores.
Commenting on the publication of the results for the 1st quarter of 2016, Stéphane Richard, Chairman and CEO of the Orange Group, stated: "For the third consecutive quarter, Orange revenues have grown, again validating our strategy of differentiation through quality and investment. This is due to the strong commercial performance in all Group countries, particularly France, Spain, Belgium, Romania and the Africa and Middle East region as well as in the Enterprise market. These good results are the fruit of our sustained investment efforts in very high-speed fixed and mobile broadband, in line with our Essentials2020 plan.
In Europe, we doubled the number of our 4G customers in just one year, reaching 20 million. We also reaffirmed our status as the leading fibre operator in Europe where we more than doubled the number of fibre customers to in excess of 2.2 million, principally driven by France and Spain with the successful integration of Jazztel. During the quarter, we also continued the development of our operations in Africa by becoming an operator in Liberia, consolidating our presence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and investing in Africa Internet Group, the e-commerce leader on the continent.
Very recently, we laid the foundations for our future mobile banking services by signing an agreement that will allow us to take a stake of 65% in Groupama Banque, which will become Orange Bank."
The entire press release is available on PDF file
1 Excluding machine-to-machine.
2 Ambition 2016 programme.