Orange continued its recent financial improvement last year ahead of the unveiling of a new strategic plan for the next five years.

The France-based operator reported 2014 revenues were down 2.5 percent year-on-year to €39.4 billion, with sales falling across all of its major business units.

In its home market, for example, revenues fell 3.5 percent to €19.3 billion.

However, the decline continues to slow; the year ended with group revenues falling just 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter as mobile net adds reached over a quarter of a million in France.

Sales of mobile equipment increased 17 percent to €1.5 billion across the group last year.

Further, a €707 million reduction in operating costs offset more than two-thirds of the decline in revenues, versus 48 percent in 2013.

Net profits fell €908 million to €1.2 billion in 2014, but Orange said this was due to the impact of specific items unrelated to operating performance.

EBITDA was down 2.5 percent to €12.2 billion but margins were stable.

Net debt fell by €4.6 billion during the year to €26.1 billion, while capex grew by 1.3 percent due to broadband investments.

In total, Orange now has over 244 million customers, up from 237 million last year.

This includes 185 million mobile customers and 16 million broadband subscribers. Orange said it has 3.7 million 4G customers in its home market and more than half a million subscribing to broadband.

Orange Group Chairman and CEO Stéphane Richard commented: “While the competitive pressure remained very high in 2014 in all of our markets, our commercial performance was excellent and we achieved all of our financial targets.

“Our strategy of differentiation through investment in very high-speed broadband and the quality of our networks and services has paid off, particularly in France, where fibre and 4G attracted many customers.

“We have also reduced our cost basis by more than €1.7 billion in three years.

The company reached an agreement to sell its 50 percent stake in EE to BT earlier this month and remains hopeful of closing a deal to buy Jazztel in Spain.

Next month, Richard will present Orange’s new strategic plan up to 2020.

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