Orange revenue rises as Spain returns to growth 

Orange reported modest first-quarter sales growth driven by a turnaround in Spain.
Group revenue in the three months to 31 March rose 0.6% year-on-year to €10.01 billion. Restated EBITDA fell to €2.57 billion from €2.61 billion due to costs stemming from new Orange shares issued to employees in March.

"For the third consecutive quarter, Orange revenues have grown, again validating our strategy of differentiation through quality and investment," said Orange CEO Stéphane Richard, in a statement.
"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," he said.

After nine consecutive quarters of declines, Orange Spain saw first-quarter revenues rise 1.8% year-on-year to €1.19 billion. The performance was attributed to an increase in mobile ARPU driven by postpaid customer growth, and continued growth in fixed broadband customers.

The French incumbent's domestic business also reported encouraging growth in lucrative postpaid mobile customers and high-speed fixed broadband customers; however, revenue edged down to €4.69 billion from €4.73 billion, driven by a decline in national roaming.

Orange France ended March with 28.6 million mobile customers, up from 27.3 million a year earlier. Of that total, 24.6 million are contract customers. Fixed-line customers fell to 16.1 million from 16.4 million, driven by continued declines in fixed telephony subscribers. Fixed broadband customers increased to 10.8 million from 10.4 million.
Orange will be under pressure in France to maintain momentum following its failure to reach a deal to acquire rival Bouygues Telecom. After months of negotiating, the two companies terminated their talks in early April.

Meanwhile, revenue at Orange's Belgium and Luxembourg business also reported growth, as did its Central Europe business, offsetting not only the slight decline in France but also Poland, where revenue fell to €642 million from €670 million in Q1 2015.

Orange's Africa and Middle East segment reported revenue of €1.27 billion, up from €1.22 billion in the first quarter of 2015,driven by mobile service revenue growth in Ivory Coast, Mali, Egypt, and Guinea.
Orange's overall customer base increased to 252.2 million from 246.9 million, of which 191 million are mobile customers. The company's 4G customer base doubled year-on-year to 20 million, while its fibre broadband base more than doubled to 2.2 million.

Finally, the telco's enterprise division also returned to sales growth, generating revenue of €1.58 billion, up 2.1% year-on-year thanks to slowing declines in legacy voice and data services and a recovery in IT and integration services.
"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," Richard said.

Source: Total Telecom