Orange claims first place in mobile race
Wednesday 12 March 1997
Announcing results for last year, Orange said its customer base was growing at a rate of more than 30,000 net new subscribers a month this year, easily beating Vodafone, Cellnet and One-2-One.
Hans Snook, group managing director, said Orange had more than 850,000 customers at the end of February, following a 107 per cent increase to 785,000 last year.
He said: "We're attracting more of the better quality subscribers than any of our competitors. All the information we have from statisticians and dealers and distributors says that we are undoubtedly the fastest- growing network this year."
The news boosted Orange's share price, which slumped last year after fears of a price war with its rivals. The shares closed 5p higher at 219p.
The group's revenue per subscriber, one of the most closely watched statistics in the industry, remained stable at pounds 442 a year on average, compared with pounds 444 at the end of 1995. Its share of the mobile market increased from 7 per cent to 11.5 per cent, and it took 28.5 per cent of new customers during 1996.
Graham Howe, finance director, forecast that Orange would break even, excluding interest charges and depreciation, by the middle of this year. He said the company was still on course to make a profit in 1998-99.
Another boost is expected from the hike in the wholesale charge Orange makes for incoming calls from BT's fixed phone network, which went up last month from 6p a minute to around 14p. Based on existing usage patterns, the increase would raise average revenues per subscriber from pounds 58 to pounds 135, increasing the overall annual spend to pounds 520. Mr Howe explained: "You will probably find the real increase is a bit lower because people will make fewer incoming calls, but there will still be a rise in revenues from an already strong base."
Mr Howe claimed Orange's low churn levels, which measure how quickly customers switch to rival operators, meant its customer base was more valuable. Churn rose only slightly last year to 18.6 per cent from 18.1 per cent in 1995, though the figure is still the lowest in the industry.
Orange's turnover last year rose by 171 per cent to pounds 619m, including the impact of acquisitions. Losses before tax jumped from pounds 141m to pounds 229m, reflecting a surge in staff numbers and an extra pounds 220m invested in building up the network.
Separately, Cancall, the Danish mobile phone maker owned by Alan Sugar's Amstrad group, launched what it claimed was the world's first handset which could work on both sides of the Atlantic.
The move comes as all the mobile networks are expanding opportunities for so-called "global roaming", where customers can use their phones on different networks around the word. The Dancall phone will work on two different wave bands used by mobile networks in the UK and abroad.
- 1 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 2 Israel-Gaza conflict: ‘Sderot cinema’ image shows Israelis with popcorn and chairs 'cheering as missiles strike Palestinian targets'
- 3 Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
- 4 Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country
- 5 Barack Obama fist bumps Texas restaurant employee in support of gay rights
Scottish independence: Scots of Corby take matters into their own hands in mock referendum - and deliver overwhelming verdict
Protesters fight to save Arturo, the polar bear sweltering in baking hot zoo
Fry ‘criticises Operation Yewtree in dinner party rant’ calling for tougher laws to deter false sex abuse allegations
Supermoon 2014 in pictures: Moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Saharan remains may be evidence of first race war, 13,000 years ago
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
Emergency data law: David Cameron plots to bring back snoopers’ charter
NUT strike: David Cameron announces crackdown on strike action ahead of mass industrial action
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £40000 per annum: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Sales Executive - Ce...
£35000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - 6 Months Fix...
£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...
£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...