Following two consecutive years of growth in the Group’s revenues and adjusted EBITDA, the positive trend has continued into the 1st quarter of 2018. The Group is also reporting an increase in Operating Cash Flow, building on the positive performance achieved in 2017.
- The increase in revenues in the 1st quarter of 2018 was mainly driven by:
– France, which reported growth for the 4th consecutive quarter (+2.1%);
– Spain, where growth remains steady (+4.3%);
– and the Africa & Middle East segment, up +6.2%, following an increase of 5.2% in the 4th quarter of 2017.
- The growth in adjusted EBITDA in the 1st quarter, follows the positive trend reported in 2017. Adjusted EBITDA from telecoms activities rose 4.4% in the period, while EBITDA margin improved by 0.6 percentage points.
- The increase in CAPEX in the 1st quarter of 2018 is in line with the 7.4 billion euros forecast for the year and reflects our ongoing investments in 4G and very high-speed broadband fixed services. A total of 27.7 million households had access to very high speed broadband fixed services at 31 March 2018.
This financial performance confirms the relevance of the Group’s strategy, which is focused on convergence and very high-speed broadband, with the aim of increasing customer loyalty and usage through enriched offers and strengthening its position in the high-end market.
- The steady growth of convergent offers continued in the period, with 10,541 million customers at 31 March 2018 (+10.4% year on year). Revenues were also up 14.1% in the 1st quarter of 2018 on a comparable basis. 424,000 SIM cards associated with convergent offers were sold in the 1st quarter.
- Growth in fibre remained robust across all business segments, with 130,000 net sales in France (a 1st quarter record), 169,000 in Spain (which remains the leader in terms of net sales) and 34,000 in Poland (its second-best quarter).
- 4G had 48 million customers at 31 March 2018, up 45% year on year (+15 million customers).
Commenting on the 1st quarter of 2018 results, Stéphane Richard, Chairman and CEO of the Orange Group, said:
“In this first quarter we successfully built on the positive momentum from 2017, with growth in revenues of 2.0%, adjusted EBITDA growth of 3.8% and a strong commercial performance across all our geographies. I would like to thank all employees across the Group for this performance. We are also reaffirming our targets for 2018.
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In this pivotal time for the Group, these strong results continue to demonstrate the relevance of our strategy and in particular, our efforts to differentiate ourselves through excellent networks and customer relations. Over 90% of the population across our European countries now have access to 4G, this includes 97% coverage in France. Having maintained a steady rhythm of deployment, we remain the European leader in fibre, bringing connectivity to 27.7 million households.
This unmatched connectivity will be the basis for our transformation from a pureplay telecommunications operator to a multiservice digital operator. The first achievements in moving towards this goal included the creation of Orange Cyberdefense as part of our Enterprise segment and the launch of Orange Bank last autumn. In order to make this transformation a success, we have renewed our Executive Committee, with the new team in place from 2 May. Strengthened by our renewed Executive Committee and the loyal commitment of our employees, we will have all the tools to successfully pursue this plan.”