Orange Group, France’s incumbent telecom operator, posted strong growth from its Middle East and African operations for the first quarter of the year, helping to offset stagnation in its more developed markets.
The telco, which is also known as France Telecom, posted overall group EBITDA of EUR 3.432 billion ($4.37bn) in Q1 2012, a decline of 7% compared to the previous year’s EUR 3.689 billion.
The group reported consolidated revenues of EUR 10.922 billion, a fall of just 0.1% compared to the same period last year.
In contrast, Orange said that its operations in Africa and the Middle East saw revenue growth of 6.8%, with recovery in Côte d’Ivoire and Egypt.
The company generated revenue of EUR 1.001 billion from its Africa and Middle East operations in the first quarter of the year, representing a 6.3% increase on the same period last year. Uganda saw the strongest revenue growth (+57%), while Niger, Ivory Coast and Egypt grew by 29%, 17% and 3.5% respectively.
Orange’s African operations also experienced strong subscriber growth Mali up by 41%, Nigeria up by 31%, Cameroon 27% and Ivory Coast 9%.
Stéphane Richard, CEO and chairman, Orange, said: “I would like to highlight the good performance of our international activities, particularly in Spain, which grew 4.5%, and in emerging markets, which posted 6.8% growth helped by the recovery in Egypt and Côte d’Ivoire.”
Last year, it was reported that Orange was planning to expand its presence in the Middle East and Africa through mergers and acquisitions.