Orange SA Tuesday said revenue and profitability slid again in the first quarter, but at a slower rate than last year, buoyed in part by strong sales of Apple Inc.’s new iPhone as the company begins a wave of investment to restore growth after years of decline.
The Paris-based former monopoly said that revenue fell 1.3% to € 9.67 billion (US$10.52 billion) in the quarter compared to the same period a year earlier, dragged down by the continued effects of a three-year price war in France as well as across its other big European markets, but slightly ahead of analysts’ expectations.
At current exchange rates, and excluding disposed assets, such as an operator in the Dominican Republic, the company said the revenue decline was 0.9%. Mobile equipment sales accounted for € 380 million in the period, in part because of accelerating smartphone sales, including the new iPhone 6, Chief Financial Officer Ramon Fernandez said.
Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes depreciation and amortization, or Ebitda, fell 3.4% to € 2.92 billion, as the company ramped by capital expenditures by 2.5%. The Ebitda figure, which is adjusted for some employee expenses in France, and € 300 million in the resolution of disputes in the year-earlier period, came in slightly below analyst expectations.
Orange nevertheless reiterated its guidance of a slower drop in revenue in 2015, to between € 11.9 billion and € 12.1 billion from € 12.19 billion for all of 2014.
“These results confirm the positive trend we’ve been seeing in recent quarters,” Fernandez said on a conference call with journalists.
Source: Market Watch