About this weblog

What you need to know: This weblog captures key data points about the global telecoms industry. I use it as an electronic notebook to support my work for Pringle Media.

Friday, February 19, 2021

Financial Services Push Pays off for Orange


Orange's revenues fell 0.2% in the fourth quarter of 2020 to 10.9 billion euros on a comparable basis. Across the year, revenues were up 0.3% to 42.3 billion euros, driven by a 5.2% increase in Africa & Middle East, which saw strong demand for 4G and Orange Money, and a 1.6% rise in France.  However, 2020 sales elsewhere in Europe were down 3.5% and enterprise revenues down 1.4%.

Orange Money's revenues rose almost 22% in the fourth quarter, meaning the business generated more than 500 million revenues for the full-year. At the end of 2020, the Orange Money customer base comprised 21.9 million active customers, up 20% year on year.

Orange also reported a 70% rise in net banking income to 69 million euros in 2020. At December 31, 2020, Orange Bank’s customer base in France and Spain, including the mobile insurance offer, was almost 1.2 million customers. It added that Orange Bank Africa, launched at the end of July 2020 in Côte d’Ivoire, already has over 350,000 customers, more than half of whom have taken out loans.  Source: Orange statement

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Financial Services Fuels Growth for Vodacom

Vodacom Group, which is majority owned by Vodafone, reported 6.7% year-on-year growth in group revenue (on a normalised basis) for the quarter ending December 30th to 25.1 billion South African rand (1.68 billion US dollars).  The increase was driven by 4.2% service revenue growth and sales of equipment and non-service revenue in South Africa.

The group's financial services revenue was a key growth engine. Shameel Joosub, Vodacom Group CEO, said: "Supported by a significant increase in demand for our Airtime Advance product and a healthy increase in insurance policies, our financial services business remains a very strong performer having increased revenue by 24.3%, as the business continues to scale. Our partnership with Alipay will add new dimensions to our financial services’ proposition and in particular VodaPay, which will become our single lifestyle super app."

Revenues from the mobile money payment service M-Pesa increased 10.1%, largely the result of a 7.7% increase in customers. The group reported that almost 16 million people - or just under half of its international customer base (customers outside of South Africa) - are now making use of M-Pesa. Including Safaricom, monthly M-Pesa transactions amounted to 24.2 billion US dollars, up 58% year-on-year.  Source: Vodacom statement

Monday, November 16, 2020

Vodafone Reports Slight Recovery

The Vodafone Group reported a 0.4% decline in service revenue on an organic basis for the quarter ending September 30. For the six month period, service revenue fell 0.8% to 18.4 billion euros, as "good underlying momentum was offset by lower revenue from roaming and visitors," Vodafone said. 

Vodafone also reported that its 1-Gigabit capable fixed-line network now passes 52 million homes and it has launched 5G in 127 cities across nine European markets. In Africa, its M-Pesa financial services platform processed almost 13 billion transactions over the past 12 months. Source: Vodafone report

Friday, October 30, 2020

Google Sees Advertising Perk Up

Alphabet reported a 15% year-on-year rise in revenues at constant currency for the third quarter to 46.2 billion US dollars, after reporting flat revenues form the second quarter. Google search and other advertising revenues were 26.3 billion dollars in the quarter, up 6% year-over-year as advertiser spend began to pick up in August. YouTube advertising revenues were 5 billion dollars, up 32% year-on-year, "driven by ongoing substantial growth in direct response, followed by a rebound in brand advertising."

Google Cloud revenues were 3.4 billion dollars for the third quarter, up 45% year-over-year, while "other revenues" were 5.5 billion dollars, up 35% year-over-year, primarily driven by growth in Play and YouTube non-advertising revenues. In its Other Bets division, which includes the self-driving vehicle developer Waymo, revenues in the third quarter were 178 million dollars, while the operating loss was 1.1 billion dollars. Source: Alphabet collateral

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Telefónica Takes Another COVID Hit

Dragged down by the pandemic, Telefónica reported a 4.5% year-on-year fall  in revenues to 10.46 billion euros for the third quarter of 2020 on an organic basis.  That compares with a 5.6% decline in the second quarter of 2020.

The Madrid-based group estimated that COVID-19 had a negative impact on group revenue of 591 million euros in the third quarter compared with 729 million euros in the second quarter, as handset sales picked up. It said its operations in Spanish-speaking Latin America accounted for 31% of the total impact, followed by Spain with 26%, the UK at 20% and Brazil at 15%. Germany accounted for just 5%. Source: Telefónica statement.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Chinese 5G Demand Lifts Ericsson

Ericsson reported a 7% year-on-year increase in revenues for the third quarter of 2020 on a like-for-like basis to 57.5 billion Swedish krona (6.6 billion U.S. dollars). The rise was mainly driven by sales of 5G network equipment in mainland China, Ericsson said.  Overall network revenues rose 13% on a like-for-like basis.

The results reflect "high activity levels in North East Asia and North America," said Börje Ekholm, CEO of Ericsson. "Underlying business fundamentals remain strong in North America driven by consolidation in the U.S. operator market, pending spectrum auctions, and increased demand for 5G. The 5G contracts in mainland China have developed according to plan, contributing positively to profits in Q3 and are expected to improve further. Our business in Europe grew based on several footprint gains. While the pandemic has hurt revenues for several of our customers, and in some cases this has led to a reduction of capex, we have not seen any negative impact on our business, largely due to footprint gains. However, the pandemic negatively impacted our sales in Latin America and Africa." source: Ericsson statement

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Tesla Sees Another Strong Quarter


Tesla reported a 39% year-on-year increase in revenue for the third quarter, thanks to "substantial growth in vehicle deliveries". Providing an update on its self-driving systems, it said: "Our Autopilot team has been focused on a fundamental architectural rewrite of our neural networks and control algorithms. This rewrite will allow the remaining driving features to be released. In October, we sent the first FSD [full-self-driving] software update enabled by the rewrite to a limited number of Early Access Program users City Streets." As it collects data over time, the system will become more robust, Tesla added.  

"It's also important to emphasise that this is a generalised neural net-based approach," Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on the conference call. "There is no need for high-definition maps or a cellphone connection. So the car — the system is designed such that even if you have no connectivity whatsoever and you're in a place that you have never been to before and no Tesla has ever been there, the car should still be able to drive, just like a person. That is the system that we are developing and aiming to release this year."

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Netflix Closes in on 200 Million Members

Netflix forecast that its revenues will rise 20% year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2020 to 6.57 billion U.S. dollars, following a rise of almost 23% in the third quarter. The rate of growth is markedly slower than a year earlier - revenues rose by over 30% in the second half of 2019.  Still, by the end of 2020, Netflix expects to be serving more than 200 million paying members. Source: Netflix statement