Orange meets targets in spite of Spanish struggles

Orange met its 2020 targets but struggled in Spain, the French operator has revealed

Reporting its year-end results, the group saw annual revenues grow by 0.1% to €42.27 billion. Africa and the Middle East was the biggest growth market, with revenues up by 5.2%, while France also saw positive growth of 1.6%. The rest of Europe however took a downturn of 3.5%, with Spain in particular seeing a sharp fall of 13% in EBITDAaL.

Credit Suisse analysts highlighted “a very weak performance in Spain” and said that strong performance elsewhere was not enough to offset the country’s struggles.

A significant reason for the poor Spanish performance was the reduction of roaming fees by €545 million, with the pandemic crippling the international travel industry.

Looking ahead, Orange said that it expects core operating profits to be slightly lower in 2021.

Stéphane Richard, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Orange group, said: “2020 was an extraordinary year, marked by a crisis of unprecedented scale and violence. In this challenging context, with networks showing just how vital they are to society, Orange proved able to adapt and meet the challenges, to continue to offer the very best of our services to our customers.”

Richard also announced that Orange will discuss splitting the roles of chairman and CEO before his third four-year mandate expires in May 2022. He said: “Historically the company has been managed by a chairman and CEO, this has been the case for 30 years. This is not for eternity.”

Orange also has announced the launch of its European masts company TOTEM. The business will be a fully independent operation which aims to be a leader in the growing European telecommunications tower market. 

TOTEM’s portfolio will consist of around 25.5 thousand sites in France and Spain.

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