Orange sees TV base rise, but competition in key markets intensifies

Orange saw its global TV base rise in the last quarter of 2019, but the company faced increased migration to low-cost offers in its core French and Spanish markets.

Orange had 9.952 million IPTV and satellite TV customers at the end of last year, up from 9.847 million at the end of the previous quarter and up from 9.733 million year-on-year.

The company’s convergent broadband customers base numbered 10.762 million at the end of the year, up from 10.412 million a year earlier. Broadband only customers rose from 9.733 million to 9.923 million.

In France, the company’s TV base rose from 7.204 million to 7.289 million quarter-to-quarter. At the same point in 2018, the French division had 7.043 million TV customers.

In Spain, Orange saw modest growth, with the TV growing from 711,000 to 718,000 quarter-to-quarter, after a sharp decline earlier in the year that saw the base shrink to 664,000 at the end of Q2. In an intensely competitive market fixed broadband ARPU including TV continued to decline, dropping 3.3% after a drop of 5.3% the previous quarter.

For the rest of its European footprint, which includes Poland, Orange saw its IPTV and satellite TV base rise significantly, up during the last quarter from 1.931 million to 1.965 million. The Polish TV base rose from 979,000 to 994,000 over the three months to December. The company saw stronger growth in its other CEE markets – Romania, Slovakia and Moldova – where the collective TV base increased from 716,000 to 737,000 over the same period.

Orange’s TV base in Belgium and Luxembourg, on the other hand, dropped from 237,000 to 235,000 over the three months to December.

Orange expressed satisfaction with the growth of its convergent and fibre customers bases, despite the impact of price competition in its key French and Spanish markets.

Overall, Orange grew its revenues by 1.1% on a like-for-like basis to €11.1 billion over the quarter, driven by strong momentum in Africa and the Middle East, with revenues in France and Spain dropping by 0.3% and 1.5% respectively due to intense price competition.

The company’s EBITDAaL figure rose by 1.3% to €3.3 billion.

Commenting on the group’s performance, CEO Stéphane Richard said that “in view of the highly competitive market context, 2019 was a successful year for Orange” and noted that “once again this year Africa and the Middle East is one of the main growth drivers for the group”.

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