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    Orange says profits will grow in 2022 with Totem deals, African dynamic and fibre


    Chairman Stéphane Richard is bullish about Spanish recovery, Totemic leverage, African growth, banking and cybersecurity success stories

    The Orange Group has reported ‘upward’ but slow momentum in revenue and expects profit growth in 2022, according to its financial at December 31st 2021. This upbeat declaration follows a period of lower yields, which it attributes to investments in co-financing deals. The intense competition in markets, particularly for Orange Spain, also hit earnings last year. Reuters noted it faces the universal mobile operator’s dilemma of upgrading its networks while competing in a fragmented European telco market. 

    EBITDA more than Orange can eschew

    Orange expects earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation after leases to grow by 2.5p per cent to 3 per cent in 2022, reversing its 0.5 per cent drop of in 2021. Cash flow from telecoms activities will exceed €2.9 billion, half a billion up on last year’s total of €2.4 billion. Revenue was up 0.8 per cent on 2021, totalling €42.5 billion euros.

    The future is Heydemann

    Orange’s new CEO Christel Heydemann will take charge on April 4 following the 12-year tenure of Stephane Richard, whose role has changed after alleged complicity in the misuse of public funds. Richard denies any wrongdoing. Reuters says Heydemann’s priority is to revitalise the Spanish division and strike mobile tower company deals if Orange’s stock is to recover. Orange did maintain its dividend policy of 0.70 euro per share in 2022 and confirmed an organic cash flow from telecom activities of at least 3.5 billion euros next year.

    Totem up

    In a call with reporters, chief financial officer Ramon Fernandez described Orange’s Totem division as well positioned for deals, with its 26,000 tower sites in France and Spain giving it exceptional leverage. Fernandez confirmed that, with Spain being Orange’s second-biggest market after France core operating growth is an imperative 2023. “The Group’s results reflect a solid 2021 performance,” said Stéphane Richard, chairman and current CEO of the Orange Group. “Orange has delivered on its commitments and is confirming all its objectives for 2023, including organic cashflow of between 3.5 and 4 billion euros. Thanks to our investments, today we’re the uncontested European fiber optic leader with a vast network of over 56 million connectable households across the Group’s footprint.”

    African dynamic is remarkable

    “Our European leadership in convergence has also been confirmed with 11.5 million clients, and the integration of TKR in Romania and the process that is well under way in Belgium to acquire Voo are further reinforcing this. In France, our largest market, our commercial performance has been very strong and customer satisfaction is constantly growing.” The dynamic in our Africa zone has been remarkable, said Richard, who cited 11 per cent revenue growth and  44 million 4G clients. Orange’s move into cybersecurity and banking has created revenues of €800 million, cybersecurity has delivered a 14 per cent growth in 2021 while Orange Bank now has 1.7 million clients in Europe.