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Telecoms group Iliad’s revenue boosted by new subscribers

French telecoms group Iliad on Tuesday reported an 8% jump in like-for-like sales for the third quarter after subscriber numbers grew in France, Italy and Poland.

The group, which billionaire Xavier Niel took private last year, posted consolidated revenue of 2.15 billion euros ($2.22 billion) in the three months to Sept. 30, up 12.5% from 1.91 billion in the previous year on a reported basis.

“We have probably never had such strong business results, but at the same time, never in such an uncertain macroeconomic environment,” Chief Executive Thomas Reynaud said in a statement.

Iliad’s French operator Free “delivered one of its best quarterly sales performances of the last 10 years” thanks to 78,000 new fixed-line subscribers and 184,000 new mobile customers, the group said.

In a call with reporters, Reynaud highlighted the “firm commitments” Iliad had taken at the beginning of 2022 to not change its pricing policy in France over the next five years.

The group, which entered the Italian fixed-line broadband market in January after shaking up the country’s mobile market with its low-cost offer in 2018, reported 18,000 new broadband subscribers in Italy. Mobile customers increased by 261,000.

In Poland, where it completed the acquisition of broadband operator UPC from Liberty Global in April, Iliad reported 121,000 new subscribers.

Over the first nine months of 2022, consolidated earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation after leases came to 2.42 billion euros, up from 2.15 billion euros a year earlier.

After the UPC acquisition and 1 billion euros paid for 5G frequencies in Italy, Iliad’s ratio between net debt and EBITDAAL at the end of September was 3.3 times.

The company said it had the liquidity to cover its financing needs but was looking for ways to limit the impact of rising interest rates. Reuters

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