African revenues surge for Orange

MEA region bucks global trend for French telecom group
Stephane Richard, CEO, Orange Group, warned of a tough year ahead.
Stephane Richard, CEO, Orange Group, warned of a tough year ahead.

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French telecom giant, France Telecom-Orange, posted revenue growth of 4.6% from its MEA operations in the third quarter of the year, helping to offset a decline in revenue in Europe.

Growth in the telco’s MEA operations was led by Niger, Côte d’Ivoire and Egypt, where revenues surged by 33.9%, 20.9% and 2% respectively.

However, Orange’s group-wide performance was less impressive. It posted a 1.1% decline in overall consolidated revenues for the third quarter of the year, as prices for mobile services in France and other European countries declined.

In terms of subscriber numbers, Orange had 227.2 million customers at 30 September 2012, an increase of 3.1% year-on-year. The telco added 3 million customers in Q3.

Third-quarter restated EBITDA across the group was EUR 3.645 billion. The margin decline was 1.4%, reflecting a reduction in commercial expenses and the continuation of the Chrysalid cost savings plan.

Stephane Richard, CEO, France Telecom-Orange, said: “The Group delivered solid results for the third quarter enabling us to confirm our operational cash flow target for 2012. This was due to a decidedly improved commercial performance in France compared to the first half, as well as the contribution from Spain and countries in Africa and the Middle East which continue to drive the Group’s growth.

However, the CEO warned that operating cash flow would face downward pressure in 2013 due to the effects of a fourth player entering the French mobile market, and a tough “macroeconomic and regulatory environment”.

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