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Orange upbeat despite COVID-19 impact on revenue

In a presentation of financial results at 30 June 2020, French telecommunications company Orange said the decline in roaming and equipment sales as a result of COVID-19 negatively impacted revenue, which declined by 0.4% in Q2 2020.

However, France and Africa & Middle East regions, revenue rose 2.7% and 1.3% respectively year-on-year, “almost completely offsetting the combined decline in other segments: Spain (-6.8%), Europe (-3.6%), Enterprise (-3.3%)”, the company stated.

Orange underlined the growth of 4G deployment and the uptake of Orange Money in Africa, and said 4G continued to reach 27.9 million customers in Q2, representing growth of 40.4% year-on-year. Orange Money had 19.6 million active customers in the 2nd quarter, up 18.9%.

As of June 30, 2020, Orange Bank had a total of 1 million customers, following the integration of Orange Courtage and the expansion of its offer in Spain. In becoming an insurance broker, the Bank took a further step in its cross-selling policy with Orange France.

In July 2020 Orange announced its partnership with financial services group NSIA to launch Orange Bank Africa in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

According to a statement released to the media, Orange Bank Africa will be headed by Jean-Louis Menann-Kouamé and will offer a range of services accessible via mobile phone.

“When it launches, Orange Bank Africa via its Orange Money service will offer a range of savings and micro credit services allowing customers to borrow as little as 5,000 CFA francs instantly using their mobile phone,” reads an excerpt from the statement.

Commenting on the results, Stéphane Richard, Chairman and CEO of the Orange Group, said: "Orange has shown a remarkable level of resistance in the first half of the year, despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a 0.3% increase in revenues and a contained decrease in EBITDAaL of 0.8%. These results bear witness to our business’ resilience and its capacity for collective mobilisation in the face of this crisis.”

“In Africa and in the Middle East, revenues grew 3.8% in the first half and EBITDAaL rose by more than 7%: an excellent performance driven by mobile data (with a 40% increase in 4G customers year on year), by broadband and by Orange Money, that will be further strengthened by last week’s launch of Orange Bank Africa.”

Richard added that while the health crisis has impacted the company’s results in B2B, he underlined the strong performance of Orange Cyberdefense and Orange Cloud for Business, where revenues grew by 11% and 8% in the first half.

“This crisis has revealed the strategic nature of telecoms networks for our economies and even society as a whole. While impacted, we are comforted in the strategic choices we made with Engage 2025, the roll-out of which we will be accelerating, whether this be through mastering our carbon footprint, the deployment and optimisation of our infrastructures or the development of our growth territories.”

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