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Orange Group revenues climb 2.6% in Q2 2023

As from June 2023, the Orange group’s consolidated financial statements include Orange Belgium’s majority stake in telecommunication operator VOO SA.

Accelerated revenue growth in the second quarter of 2023 reflected the initial results of the value strategy, which will come to full fruition in the second half of 2023:

Orange group revenues climbed 2.6% in the second quarter of 2023 (2Q) and 2.0% in the first half of 2023 (1H).

Accelerated revenue growth in the quarter was driven by the performance of retail services, which benefited from price increases. Retail services rose 4.3% in 2Q (+3.6% in 1H) and more than offset the continued decline in revenues from wholesale services, which fell 4.1% in 2Q (-5.9% in 1H). Equipment sales again recorded strong growth in 2Q with an 8% increase (+8.8% in 1H).

France decreased 1.3% in 2Q (-1.5% in 1H), with the accelerated growth in retail services of 3.4% excluding PSTN unable to offset the anticipated decline in wholesale services revenues. Recent price increases will, however, yield results in the second half of the year.
Europe grew 2.7% in 2Q (+3.3% in 1H), driven by Spain, which confirmed its recovery with an increase of 2.1%, and solid performances from Poland (+5.5%) and Belgium & Luxembourg (+3.0%).

Africa & Middle East continued to post very strong growth rising 12.0% in 2Q (+10.5% in 1H) with double-digit increases across all growth engines (mobile data, fixed broadband, Orange Money, B2B).

The Enterprise sector grew 2.4% in 2Q (+0.8% in 1H) as a result of revenues from IT & Integration services and Mobile, which more than offset the structural decline in the Voice and Data legacy businesses.

In terms of commercial performance, the Group maintained its leadership position in convergence, with 11.6 million convergent customers Group-wide (+0.8%), as well as its commercial momentum on mobile contracts and very high-speed fixed broadband accesses. Mobile services had 246.2 million accesses (+4.4%), including 97.4 million contracts (+8.1%). Fixed services totaled 44.6 million accesses (-2.8%), including 15.1 million very high-speed broadband accesses, an area that continued to grow strongly (+14.0%). Fixed narrowband accesses remained structurally in decline (-14.4%).

Growth in EBITDAaL demonstrated the Group’s ability to reduce inflationary pressure, thanks to its value strategy and strict cost discipline.

EBITDAaL rose 1.0% in 2Q, leading to 1H growth of 0.8%, due to the excellent performance of Africa & Middle East (+12.0%) and solid results for Europe (+7.1%) driven by the recovery in Spain (+11.0%). This performance more than offset both the decline in the Enterprise segment (-16.7%), which in this first year of recovery showed an improving trend compared to the first half of 2022 (+9 points), as well as the decline in France (-5.1%), which was hit, as expected, by the peak in inflation (particularly energy costs) without yet fully benefiting from recent price increases. The Group continued its efforts to control costs, achieving net savings at 30 June 2023 of 175 million euros which represents nearly 30% of its target of 600 million euros by 2025, on a defined cost base of 11.8 billion euros at the end of 2022.

Group operating income totaled 2,142 million euros in the first half of 2023, down 11.2%. This decline was largely due to an additional provision of 257 million euros related to the “part-time for seniors” plans in France in order to take into account pension reforms enacted in France in April 2023.

Consolidated net income was 1,088 million euros in the first half of 2023, a decline of 378 million euros on an historical basis, primarily due to changes in operating income.

eCAPEX was 3,154 million euros in the first half of 2023, a year-on-year reduction of 6.4% in 2Q and 5.7% in 1H, in line with objective of a substantial reduction for the year as a whole. At 30 June 2023, Orange had 68.3 million households connectable to FTTH worldwide (up 12.6% year on year), while the FTTH customer base reached 14.6 million (+14.4%).

Organic cash-flow from telecom activities at 30 June 2023 amounted to 1,477 million euros (+2.2%), in line with the target of at least 3.5 billion euros by year end, given the seasonal nature of the business.

Net debt increased by 1,976 million euros compared with 31 December 2022, largely due to the acquisition of VOO. The ratio of net financial debt to EBITDAaL from telecom activities increased to 2.09x at 30 June 2023, remaining in line with the medium-term target of approximately 2x.

In the first half of 2023, Orange continued to further its commitments to digital inclusion, the circular economy and the environment. In particular, by the end of June 2023, the Group had already reached its target of reducing Scope 1 & 2 carbon emissions by 30% compared with 2015 (ahead of the initial 2025 deadline) due to the acceleration in the proportion of renewable energy in its energy mix (notably via Power Purchase Agreements or PPAs and efforts to install solar power systems at sites). The next steps towards the Group’s goal to achieve Net Zero Carbon by 2040 are to have reduced Scope 3 emissions by 14% in 2025 compared with 2018 and to have reduced emissions across all three scopes by 45% in 2030 compared with 2020.

The Group reconfirms its financial targets, in particular those for 2023, as presented at the Capital Market Day on 16 February:

  • Slight growth in EBITDAaL
  • Significant reduction in eCAPEX
  • Organic cash-flow from telecom activities of at least 3.5 billion euros
  • Net debt/EBITDAaL ratio for telecom activities unchanged at around 2x in the medium term
  • Orange will make an interim dividend cash payment for 2023 of 0.30 euros on 6 December 2023.

A dividend of 0.72 euros per share for 2023 will be proposed to the Annual Shareholders Meeting in 2024.

Commenting on the publication of these results, Christel Heydemann, Chief Executive Officer of the Orange group, said:
“Our first-half results are in line with our objectives for 2023. They confirm the relevance of the implementation process initiated in the context of our ‘Lead the Future’ strategic plan and provide confidence for the achievement of our 2025 objectives.

In Europe and in France, our quarterly results in retail services show the positive momentum of our value strategy, underpinned by price increases the benefits of which in France will be fully visible in the second half of the year. We can also confirm the continuing recovery in Spain, where EBITDAaL rose by 11% in this first half.

The excellent performance in Africa and the Middle East is down to our investments in the network, the satisfaction of our customers and the very strong rebound of Orange Money.

These results offset those of Orange Business, whose EBITDAaL was still sharply lower despite a 2.4% increase in revenues in the second quarter. Our teams are fully focused on executing our transformation plan there.

I would like to express my sincere thanks for the work of all the Group’s teams who dedicate themselves daily to the achievement of our objectives. Together we’re transforming and building the Orange Group of tomorrow, ensuring its sustainability and its competitiveness with agility and confidence.”

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