Orange is strong and accelerating its transformation


Our results in 2018 confirmed the effectiveness of our strategy – based on leveraging the quality of our networks and enhancing our services. We are now in a position to build on these two strengths and the success of our Essentials2020 strategic plan in order to take the Group’s growth and transformation to the next level.

The huge amount of work we have undertaken since launching the Essentials2020 plan has delivered solid results. We are back on track for growth thanks to the two fundamental decisions that have set Orange apart from other European operators.

The first choice was very high-speed fixed and mobile broadband. In fixed services, Orange was the first European operator to make the clear and decisive choice to roll out Fibre to the Home (FTTH), bringing very high-speed fixed broadband to customers in all its operating countries. In France, we are the only operator so far to have massively invested in very high-speed fixed broadband, building nearly 70% of the country’s fibre network.

The outstanding quality of our networks has made us the number one operator for convergence in Europe.

The second significant choice we made, also before any of our competitors, was convergence. Years ago, we realised that the European market would increasingly, and more rapidly, gravitate towards fixed/mobile convergence. The idea behind it is simple: it makes a lot of sense for a family or business to have one carrier that provides all their landline and mobile services. And for us, this naturally presents a fantastic opportunity to nurture customer loyalty. You can see the effects of these two pioneering decisions regarding fibre and convergence in our figures.

Orange has been the fibre optic leader in Europe for three years now and today has 29 million homes connectable to FTTH. We have also invested substantially in mobile networks. We are a leading provider of 4G, with more customers than any of our competitors in seven of our eight operating countries in Europe. We have set up 4G networks in 12 countries in Africa and the Middle East, and, in 2018, topped the mobile network ranking in France for the eighth year running. The outstanding quality of our networks has made us the number one operator for convergence in Europe, where this strategy has become widespread. We now provide convergence packages in all our operating countries in Europe and have almost 11 million contracts so far.

It was our solid performance in all these countries that helped us bounce back in 2016. Our revenues, EBITDA and operating cash flow continued to pick up pace in 2018, despite persistently fierce competition.

It was our solid performance in all these countries that helped us bounce back in 2016. Our revenues, EBITDA and operating cash flow continued to pick up pace in 2018, despite persistently fierce competition. 

Going forward, we will be speeding up the roll-out of very high-speed fixed and mobile broadband. It is a powerful driver for our company’s growth and a big part of our commitment to society alongside the French State and local authorities. 

In the mobile segment, Orange is preparing the ground for 5G, a disruptive technology that will open the door to new uses, with 10 times faster throughput than 4G. We are doing this in several ways, such as by carrying out new large-scale pilots in Europe with our technology specialist partners. We started trialling 5G on the ground in 2018 and will be carrying out other tests between now and 2020 to prepare to bring 5G to our individual and business customers.

By tapping into the quality of our networks, we broadened our range of services, making bold moves to diversify into several forward-looking sectors.

 

We have upgraded Orange Business Services’ business model and expanded our expertise by making targeted acquisitions in strategic areas, such as cloud and cybersecurity technology. Fully aware of data security threats, we set up Orange Cyberdefense in 2016, leading the field in France within two years. The acquisition of British group SecureData in January 2019 also sets us on a path to becoming one of Europe’s leaders in cybersecurity provision.

We also notched up several success stories in 2018 as regards our content. OCS celebrated its 10th anniversary, with almost 3 million customers, and our improved sports packages in Spain have significantly boosted sales. We have a clear strategy, based on offering a wealth of content by partnering with key players such as HBO and Netflix.

Lastly, the mobile financial services business also performed well last year. Orange Bank had signed up 248,000 customers in France by the end of 2018, after opening a record number of accounts in the fourth quarter, representing a major success.
I believe in this new business line, and our unique approach – an entirely mobile bank, combined with the convenience of the Orange store network. Meanwhile, Orange Money has become one of the world’s most popular mobile payment solutions, with more than 15 million active customers – partly driven by Mowali, the platform we set up with MTN to enable pan-African mobile payment interoperability.

We broadened our range of services, making bold moves to diversify into several forward-looking sectors.

The quality of our networks, our diversification strategy and our renewed management team are three of the reasons why we’re feeling confident about 2019. It will be a pivotal year for the Group, as we will be presenting our new strategic plan for 2025. We live in a world where 3.9 billion people – more than half the global population – still aren’t connected to the internet. That is why we will be ramping up our efforts to bring safe and smart networks and services to everyone, wherever they are.

Creating shared value for the long term