France Telecom-Orange have released their first quarter financial report in line with the company’s guidance for 2011. Despite intensified pressure in certain markets, where the group customers totaled to 215.9 million as at 31 March 2011, a 7.0 % year-on-year increase, led by 25 % mobile growth in Africa and the Middle East.
Consolidated revenues increased by 0.4 % to 11.228 billion Euros, excluding the impact of regulatory measures, with mobile services performing well in France (+5.9%), Spain (+7.0%) and Poland (+4.5%), driven by the success of smart phones and segmented offers.
The group said rapid growth continued in emerging markets, despite difficult conditions in Egypt and Côte d’Ivoire.
Commenting on the operating results for the first quarter of 2011, the Chairman and CEO of France Telecom- Orange, Stéphane Richard, said the Group’s operating and financial performance for the first quarter was strong, despite intensified competition in France and exceptional political conditions in certain emerging countries.
“In France, the Group successfully overcame increased market turbulence and regulatory changes – most notably following the increase in VAT – with significant gains in the ADSL market thanks to the success of the Open quadruple play offer.
“The Group was also able to address difficult conditions in Egypt, Côte d’Ivoire and Tunisia.
“The Group performed very well in Spain, with revenues growing 4 per cent , as well as in the continually improving Enterprise market,” said Richard.
He said the solid first-quarter results were in line with their financial objectives for the whole of 2011, and that the result sat squarely with the implementation of their Conquest 2015 plan as well as the creation of a new social contract in France.
He said that changes to the consolidation perimeter mainly related to the full consolidation of the Egyptian operator Mobinil in July 2010 and the acquisition of KPN Belgium Business by Mobistar, which has been consolidated since June 2010.
Richard said the exchange rate variations: the favourable movements of the Swiss franc, the Polish zloty and the US dollar were partially offset by the depreciation of the Egyptian pound.
Revenue for the first quarter 2011 of France Telecom Group grew 0.4 % year-on-year on a comparable basis, excluding the impact of regulatory measures.
Mobile services remained particularly buoyant, both in the main European markets and in emerging markets (except for Egypt, Côte d’Ivoire and Romania).
At the same time, service operations in the Enterprise segment recovered significantly.
He said the main regional trends, excluding the impact of regulatory measures, were: in France, mobile revenues increased 5.9 % , despite the VAT increase not being passed on to customers; the success of smart phones and the Open quadruple play offers accelerated growth in data services.
The share of new ADSL customers for the quarter was estimated at about 20 %; in Spain, mobile growth accelerated, reaching 7.0 % in the first quarter of 2011.
This was driven by the success of segmented offers and strong growth in data services.
Richard said fixed services also improved, with ADSL sales growing 4.1 %; in Poland, mobile revenue increased 4.5 %, driven by customer growth.
This growth was largely in Africa and the Middle East, which together accounted for 65.5 million customers at 31 March 2011, a 25% year-on-year increase on a comparable basis with 12.1 million net additions.
He said the Group fixed broadband services customers totalled 13.9 million at 31 March 2011, representing a 4.6 % year-on-year increase with 605,000 net additions, including 370,000 in France, 136,000 in the other European countries (Spain, Poland and Belgium) and 144,000 in Africa and the Middle East (Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan and Senegal).
By Brian Adero