The discussions between Orange and Bouygues Telecom are continuing, but no decision – in one way or another – will be taken before “several weeks” . This was affirmed Orange publishing its annual results.
“It’s a big operation that requires that it puts the time it takes” said the company’s CEO, Stéphane Richard, on BFM business. Without prejudging the outcome of negotiations, which also involves SFR and Free, also candidates to take over a portion of the assets of Bouygues Telecom. “We, we did everything to try and get there. I’m not sure now to complete [the operation] “ has launched the boss of Orange
Read also.: orange-Bouygues Telecom that change a market with three telecom operators?
Meanwhile, its deputy CEO, Ramon Fernandez, is considering an issue by “in mid-March,” while reiterating the operation of interest . “There is a view shared by all: a market with four operators that carry risks in terms of employment and investment across the sector” provides the World the leader of Orange.
All lights are green
However, the annual results have reminded him, in the operator historic, all lights are green. In 2015, Orange has done better than expected in publishing an EBITDA (equivalent to EBITDA) up 0.1% to 12.4 billion euros, while net profit to 2.9 billion euros was raised by the sale of the British operator BT Group EE in the UK. The company expects a further increase in Ebitda this year. The turnover has been declining; it remained stable at EUR 40.2 billion in 2015. “This had not happened since 2009. We turned a page” , welcomed Mr. Fernandez.
Why then redeem Bouygues Telecom? “We have always said we are the operator had the least need of consolidation. We will carry the term if it creates value, socially irreproachable and that we have mastered the execution risk “ says Mr. Fernandez.
Read also: Orange-Bouygues Telecom: the reasons for a marriage
At the beginning of Orange performances, two engines, 4G and fiber high speed Internet. “We have 1.8 million customers connected to the fiber, including 1 million in France and 800,000 in Spain. Today 80% of our eligible customers take the fiber. This is a very powerful engine “, says Fernandez. Subscribers also plébiscitent the mobile broadband. In the fourth quarter 2015, Orange won 1.4 million new customers in 4G, for a total of 8 million.
Overall, the group continued its investment policy, spending € 6.5 billion in 2015, 3 billion in France. “The bulk of the effort was made in France, notably due to the fiber” , says Fernandez. In parallel, Orange continued to tighten the screws. The company’s workforce increased from 150 000 in 2014 to 145 000 in 2015, a decrease of 3.9% achieved mainly in France and Poland. In France, the former state monopoly still employs 90 000 people.
The year 2016 will be as that of diversification. Orange has given itself until March-April to finalize the takeover of Groupama Banque and throughout the year to refine its offering of banking services, to be launched “early 2016″ , confirms Mr. Fernandez. Finally, the incumbent telephony has announced an investment of 100 million euros over five years in startups. He continues as a policy begun in 2015
Read also:. Orange Bouygues: the state sets conditions