Orange lost 66,000 TV customers across its footprint in the first quarter of this year, despite gains in France. New CEO Christel Heydemann meanwhile said that the combination of Orange’s unit in Spain with alternative player MásMóvil would create “a sustainable player with the investment capacity, infrastructure and competitive edge necessary for its future development and for the benefit of both consumers and businesses”.
The company had 11.701 million TV customers at the end of March, down from 11.767 million at the end of December, reversing some of the solid growth achieved in the fourth quarter.
The dip came despite growth in the domestic French market, where the TV base grew from 7.91 million to 7.934 million. In the Spain, Orange managed to achieve modest growth too, growing its TV base from 690,000 to 695,000 over the quarter.
In European markets outside France, overall the TV base fell from 3.857 million to 3.767 million, despite the growth in Spain. In Poland, the company’s largest international market, the TV base dropped from 995,000 to 978,000. Q1 numbers for other markets were not broken out individually in the company’s databook.
In relation to Spain, Heydemann said that the country “remains our most challenging market” but added that “we’re pressing ahead with our standalone programmes aimed at restoring growth” while moving forward with discussions with MásMóvil.
She said that Orange now had 11.6 million convergent customers in Europe, and noted that Africa and the Middle East continued to be “our main growth driver”.
Overall, Orange posted revenues of €10.6 billion for the quarter, up 0.7%, and EBITDAaL of €2.6 billion, up 1%. Growth in the Middle East and Africa boosted the numbers, while growth in retail services offset a decline in wholesale. Revenues in France fell by 0.7% and revenues in Spain fell by 4.6%, despite improvement in retail services.
The company reported it had 11.6 million converged customers across Europe.