French Iliad’s profits jump as sales increase in all markets

A guest talks on a mobile phone as she arrives for French telecommunications operator Iliad’s news conference in Milan, Italy, May 29, 2018. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

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Aug 30 (Reuters) – French telecommunications company Iliad on Tuesday reported a nearly 13% rise in its half-year core profit, driven by growth in the three countries where it operates and the integration of the broadband operator Polish UPC.

Iliad, which billionaire Xavier Niel privatized last year, said it was “keeping a watchful eye” on financial and energy market volatility.

“We are facing an unprecedented inflationary context on our supply costs and our energy costs, but I really have full confidence in (our) ability to adapt,” CEO Thomas Reynaud told the press.

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Asked about power consumption, Reynaud said Iliad is making its equipment more energy efficient and has taken measures such as turning off certain frequency bands at night.

Iliad recorded a basic result (EBITDA) after leasing of 1.58 billion euros ($1.58 billion) in the first half of 2022, against 1.40 billion a year earlier.

Its French turnover increased by 6.6% to 2.71 billion euros, while Italy saw growth of 15.4% to 442 million euros.

The group said it signed a network-sharing agreement in April with rival Wind Tre in sparsely populated areas of Italy.

Iliad recorded a 9.7% increase in its half-year turnover in Poland, where it acquired UPC last year and the mobile operator Play in 2020.

It added 187,000 new subscribers in France in the second quarter and 257,000 new mobile customers in Italy despite a “strongly competitive environment”.

“Overall, Iliad is strongly following the market at the expense of its main competitors in its main markets,” Credit Suisse analysts wrote in a note to clients.

“Strong broadband trends in France suggest that the French fixed market may be a little more competitive than expected, while Italy is likely to remain a challenge for its peers,” added Credit Suisse.

Iliad’s Free is one of the main French mobile operators alongside Orange (ORAN.PA), SFR and Bouygues Telecom (BOUY.PA). In Italy, it competes with Vodafone Italy and Telecom Italia (TLIT.MI).

($1 = 1.0001 euros)

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Reporting by Valentine Baldassari in Gdansk; edited by Milla Nissi

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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