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African Growth Helps Drive Strong Financials for Orange

Orange has posted a strong set of financials for its H1 2018 reporting period, with revenue growing by 1.7 per cent across the group. Revenues reached €20.2 billion, with adjusted EBITDA also rising by 3.3 per cent to €5.984 billion. Growth was particularly strong in Orange’s African business unit, where revenues jumped by 5.7 per cent, as the company focuses on a number of key initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa.

“Our investment strategy in fibre and 4G is reflected in the sharp increase in our very high-speed broadband customer base. Orange now has 50 million 4G customers with 13 million in Africa, twice as many as a year ago. In fixed very high-speed broadband, the customer base continued to show particularly strong growth enabling us to reach 5.5 million customers, almost exclusively in fibre,” said Stéphane Richard, chairman and CEO of Orange Group.

Growth in Europe was slower, however, with revenues from the company’s French business unit edging up by 1.4 per cent. The company claimed 10 million convergent customers in Europe, making it Europe’s biggest convergent operator. However, with renewed challenges for that accolade coming from the like of Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom, the company will need to continue to consolidate its position in Europe if it is to hang on to that accolade.

“The question of consolidation will not go away. If Orange wants to be a serious European player it must be active otherwise it faces the prospect of being left behind. There are opportunities to cement its position in Europe especially in the south. It’s all about scale. And let’s not forget content; acquiring a media related company such as Vivendi would be a good strategic fit,” said technology, media and telecoms analyst, Paolo Pescatore.

Overall, Orange will be pleased with the results as it looks to progress with a number of global initiatives. The company continued to invest well on capital expenditure, with capex rising to €3.369 billion for the period. – Total Telecom

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