Orange reported a return to revenue growth in 2016 as the telecoms group saw business improve in Europe with a bright spot in Spain

France’s biggest telecoms group reported 2016 revenue rose to €40.92bn, up 0.6 per cent on 2015 and coming in a touch above analysts’ estimates of €40.82bn. Revenue for the three months to December grew by 1 per cent year on year to €10.5bn.

The group’s adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) was €12.68bn for 2016, up 1.3 per cent compared with a year earlier. This was slightly higher than the average of analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg of €12.59bn.

The number of fibre customers grew 75 per cent in the twelve months ended December to 3.3 million. Orange also reported 28.1 million 4G customers in 2016, up 58 per cent year on year.

Orange said it expects higher ebitda for 2017 compared to 2016, with chairman and chief executive officer Stephane Richard saying: “Our investments are driving our commercial performance, led by very high speed fixed internet and mobile broadband and despite a level of competition that is intense and unprecedented particularly in France.”

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