Orange said its Spanish unit will invest nearly 4 billion euros ($4.75 billion) in 2021, CEO Jean-Francois Fallacher said on Thursday, almost quadrupling 2020’s investment levels despite bruising market conditions and a 3.7 billion-euro writedown in the second quarter.
“The Spanish market is hyper-competitive… but amid the three main operators Orange is a strong second,” Fallacher told reporters in a call. “Last year we invested over 1 billion euros – this year’s investment will be closer to 4 billion.”
Orange’s Spain revenue fell in Q2. Retail services were down 8.3 percent year on year due to the drop in ARPO, a slight improvement in trend compared to Q1. Wholesale services decreased 0.5 percent while equipment sales grew 35.6 percent.
“The repositioning of offers enabled Spain to continue to post positive a commercial performance for the fourth consecutive quarter, with +9,000 net additions in convergent services, +36,000 net additions in mobile contracts excluding M2M and +28,000 net additions in FTTH,” Orange said.
Orange Group recorded a loss of 1,752 million euros in the first half of the year, compared to a profit of 2,220 million euros on a comparable basis at 30 June 2020. This decrease is mainly due to the recognition of a goodwill impairment in Spain of 3,702 million euros.
Orange, France’s biggest telecom firm, announced a 3.7 billion-euro ($4.4 billion) impairment on the value of its Spanish activities, reflecting competition that has hurt sales and profits in its second-largest market.
Rival Telefonica, which also reported earnings on Thursday, raised its outlook for the full year after posting a record net income. But quarterly core operating profits in Spain fell 4.4%.
“The downward revision of the business plan in Spain reflects an increasingly competitive environment, marked by the decline in average revenue per user and the expected lag in economic recovery due to uncertainties regarding the continuation of the health crisis,” Orange said.