Orange Sees Return To Growth Thanks To Fibre Deals


By Jonathan Easton

France’s biggest telco Orange has seen a return to revenue growth in Q3 in spite of the ongoing effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

The telco saw revenues of €10.6 billion(US$12.37billion), up 0.8 per cent from Q2. A positive Q3 has seen the company chart year-to-date revenues of €31.4 billion, up 0.5 per cent year-over-year.

The company has attributed the growth to momentum in services and wholesale in particular thanks to the co-financing of the French fibre network and convergent sales (which grew by 5.7 per cent and 1.5 per cent respectively). The company has received €2.4 billion in what it calls co-financing deals – i.e. selling access to its fibre network to rivals – since 2009. It has most recently announced such agreements with Illiad and Bouygues Telecom.

This helped to offset the impact of travel restrictions which have negatively affected roaming, and there was also a 1.9 per cent decline in equipment sales, which Orange said can be attributed to the delayed release of the Apple iPhone 12.

Region-wise, France and MENA were positive with growth of 3.1 per cent and 5.1 per cent respectively, but Europe – including Spain and Poland – are continuing to struggle. Fibre was cited as particularly excellent in France, with the addition of 360,000 net adds.

TV also saw a return to growth in the quarter, with the addition of 51,000 subscribers compared to a loss of 31,000 in Q2 across Europe. This, along with gains in fixed broadband and mobile lead to growth in the convergent customer base for the first times since Q1 2018.

Orange said that this convergent growth was reflective of its new commercial strategy, which included the revamping of product lines undertaken in most regions, and the start of the new football season.

Orange Group chairman and CEO Stéphane Richard said: “From the beginning of the year the Orange Group has demonstrated its resilience in all its markets in the face of an unprecedented health and economic crisis. Our networks have proven their robustness, our commercial performance has been very positive and we’re in line with all our financial objectives for the year.

My warm thanks go to all of Orange’s teams who have been fully mobilised throughout the crisis at the service of our clients.”

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