The Orange Group has recorded growth in mobile data revenues as well as Orange Money subscriptions in Africa and Middle East even though it had to grapple with SIM verification and registration issues, according to the Group’s half-year results for 2016.
“In Africa and the Middle East, the mobile customer base trend (108.5 million customers at 30 June 2016) was affected by a strengthened requirement to verify the identities of customers in certain countries. Mobile data services nonetheless remained very buoyant, with revenues up 44% in the 2nd quarter. Orange Money had 19 million customers at 30 June 2016 (an increase of 36% year-on-year),” Orange said in a statement.
Commenting on the performance, Orange Group CEO Stéphane Richard emphasized the importance of the Africa and Middle East subsidiaries.
“The first-half results again confirm the Group’s positive momentum, enabling us to reaffirm our objective of growth in restated EBITDA for the year 2016. The revenue growth seen in the first half illustrates the quality of our commercial performance across all our areas of operation, and was achieved in markets that remain highly competitive, particularly France which experienced aggressive promotional activity during the first half. In Europe, business was driven by the very high-speed fixed and mobile activities. In one year we have doubled both our fiber customer base to 2.5 million customers as well as our 4G customer base, with nearly 23 million customers. This good performance underscores the success of our Essentials2020 strategy of investment in fiber and 4G networks, with strong growth over the period, and in the quality of the customer experience, with in particular the opening of new Smart Store outlets and the launch of the new Livebox in France. The Africa and Middle East region remains a growth area. We have continued our development with several acquisitions, effective in the first half, representing 12 million customers and enabling us to enter Liberia, Burkina Faso, and Sierra Leone, and to consolidate our business in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” said Stéphane Richard.
Overall, the Group recorded a “strong commercial performance in the 2nd quarter, driven by investment in very high-speed broadband” according to the statement.
Orange currently has operations in 28 countries, with a total customer base of 252 million customers worldwide at the end of March 2016, including 191 million mobile customers and 18 million fixed broadband customers.