Orange reported adjusted EBITDA down 9.6 percent to EUR 12.19 billion in 2014, in line with its outlook for a figure of EUR 12.1-12.5 billion. The margin was stable at 30.9 percent, thanks to cost-cutting efforts. Revenues fell 3.7 percent to EUR 39.445 billion, with weakness across all the operator’s main markets. Orange saw a small recovery in the last quarter of the year, when the drop in sales slowed to 1.9 percent. Excluding regulatory effects, revenues were unchanged year-on-year in Q4, led by an improving performance in France, Poland and Spain.
Orange’s net profit was still down sharply in 2014, to EUR 925 million from EUR 1.87 billion in 2013, due to restructuring charges and settling legal disputes in France. Capital expenditure was largely stable last year, at EUR 5.70 billion or 14.7 percent of revenue. Net debt fell by EUR 4.64 billion in the year to EUR 26.09 billion.
Orange forecast a further fall in adjusted EBITDA in 2015, to EUR 11.9-12.1 billion. It will continue to focus on reducing costs in order to offset pressure on revenues. The operator aims to maintain its dividend at EUR 0.60 per share in 2015. The company will give an update on its strategic plan to 2020 on 17 March, including plans for the proceeds from selling its stake in UK operator EE and investments in new networks.
Orange finished the year with 185.3 million mobile customers, an increase of 6.5 percent year-on-year. Growth came mainly in the Middle East and Africa, where the operator added 10.4 million subscribers last year. It also had 12.6 million Orange Money customers in the region at year-end, 51 percent more than in 2013. The fixed broadband base grew by 3.5 percent in 2014 to 16.0 million customers, including 691,000 on fibre networks.