Orange Switzerland has registered ‘solid’ financial results for the first quarter of 2014, booking a 0.4% year-on-year increase in revenues, and a 19.9% expansion in EBITDA driven, it claims, by strong growth in the 4G segment. The cellco reported gross revenues of CHF309.2 million (USD345.19 million) for the three month period, compared to CHF308.1 million a year earlier, whilst EBITDA grew from CHF69.8 million to CHF83.7 million. Orange’s subscriber base expanded 4.4% to 2.147 million, including a 5.8% increase in its post-paid user base, increasing the proportion of contract users from 52.5% in Q1 2013 to 53.2%. The operator has not been left unscathed by price erosion in Switzerland’s fiercely competitive wireless market however, with ARPU slumping by 5.1% y-o-y to CHF39.3. Orange continues to focus on the data market, and claims that daily data usage per 4G subscriber is now double that of non-4G customers. Smartphone penetration is now more than 67% and the number of active 4G devices has increased by 155% in the nine months since June 2013. Of Orange’s CHF30.5 million CAPEX for Q1 2014 (up by 47.8% compared to Q1 2013), 45% was spent on developing the cellco’s 4G network whilst 23% was invested in its 3G network. As a result Orange increased its 4G coverage by ten percentage points since 31 December 2013, with Long Term Evolution (LTE) services now available to 81% of the population.
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