Orange more than held its own in Central and Eastern European last year despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
That, at least, is the impression the group gives in its latest set of results. Take Poland, the largest market it is present in. Its TV subscriber total saw a modest increase during the year, from 994,000 to 1,015,000, passing the one million-milestone in the third quarter. As would be expected, the IPTV total grew whilst DTH contracted, and the number of convergent subscribers increased, from 828,000 to 870,000.
Orange Polska gained an additional 114,000 converged package users in 2020, with the total number at the end of the year being 8% higher than 12 months earlier. It also had 725,000 fibre customers at year’s end (+39% year-on-year), gaining a record 63,000 in Q4.
Furthermore, the company’s revenues in 2020 were 1% higher than the previous year, with those for key telecom services increasing by 2.9%.
Elsewhere in CEE, Orange Romania ended 2020 with 10,727,000 mobile, fixed and TV service customer, or 1% more than a year earlier. Although its fixed broadband subscriber total rose by 13% to 403,000 over the same period, the company, and indeed its parent, has not provided TV subscriber figures for 2020.
Although Orange Romania’s revenues fell – down from €1.112 million in 2019 to €1,078 million last year – it has recently made huge strides in what is a highly competitive marketplace, most notably by agreeing to buy Telekom Romania’s fixed-line business and in continuing its 5G rollout across the country. As a result, it is likely to perform better in 2021 than it did last year.
Meanwhile in Slovakia, Orange has yet to release its results for 2020. We do know, however, that it ended Q3 last year with 128,000 TV subscribers, or 34.1% more than 12 months earlier. While this included both IPTV and DTH, the company has since withdrawn its satellite TV offer.
Like Orange Romania, its Slovak counterpart saw a dip in revenues in 2020, down from the previous year’s €556 million to €541 million. So, too, did the one in Moldova, posting a total of €137 million for last year, down from €141 million in 2019.
It is also interesting to note that the parent company says that the total number of TV subscribers in Romania, Slovakia and Moldova was 737,000 in Q4 2020, unchanged on a year earlier. However, it does not provide a country breakdown for this figure.
Looking at the bigger picture, we can conclude that 2020 was a reasonable year for Orange in CEE. Despite the uncertain times we find ourselves in, it can expect to continue making significant progress, especially in Poland and Romania.
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