Orange’s discussions with French industrial conglomerate Bouygues to acquire the latter’s Bouygues Telecom unit “are ongoing and require at least several weeks before any decision is taken”, the company has said, taking observers by surprise after reports over the weekend that a deal was imminent.
Posting strong full-year results, Orange said that, regarding Bouygues Telecom, it would “act solely in the interests of its shareholders, employees and customers and will be particularly attentive to the value created by such a project”.
Separately, Orange reported 7.933 million TV customers at the end of December, up from 7.19 million a year earlier.
In France, the company had 6.423 million TV subscribers out of a total of 10.734 million broadband customers, up from 6.051 million out of a total of 10.354 million broadband homes.
In Spain, Orange grew its TV base to 306,000 on the strength of its ability to offer top-tier football, up two and a half times the figure for the end of 2014. The company had 3.753 million broadband customers at the end of December, up 6.7%.
Referring to the Spanish market, Richard said that “the integration of Jazztel has exceeded our objectives and has enabled us to create the most dynamic convergent operator in the market”.
In Poland, Orange gained TV customers but lost broadband customers over the year. The company had 787,000 IPTV and satellite TV customers out of a total of 2.105 million broadband customers at the end of December, up from 749,000 out of a total of 2.241 million.
Overall, the company had 18.1 million fixed broadband customers at the end of the year, up 3.1%. This number included 1.882 million fibre subscribers, including 960,000 in France and 809,000 in Spain. Orange’s mobile base was 201.2 million, up 3.2%, including 110.2 million in Africa and the Middle East, up 4.1%.
Total revenues amounted to €40.236 billion, down 0.1% on a comparable basis. Restated EBITDA for the year, was €12.426 billion, up 0.1% after a 2.5% decline in 2014. Net income increased by 141.5% to €2.958 billion.
“Our good results for 2015 confirm the relevance of our new strategic plan, Essentiels2020, designed to differentiate us in terms of quality of customer experience. For the first time since 2009, and one year ahead of target, restated EBITDA for the year is growing,” said Richard, who highlighted the company’s focus on Africa and the Middle East as a “growth area”.
“This growth is the result of a very strong commercial performance, particularly in very high-speed broadband, and our continued efforts to control costs. The number of 4G customers, which reached 18 million, has doubled in a year and we have 1.9 million fibre customers, three times more than at the end of 2014. We also have 110 million mobile customers in Africa and the Middle East, up 4.1% year on year on a comparable basis,” he said.
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