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Iliad's third-quarter revenue rises on strong subscriber gains

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Iliad SA, Europe's sixth-largest mobile operator, on Tuesday reported a 6.3 per cent rise in third-quarter revenue, helped by record net adds for its French fiber offering and upbeat demand for its new cable box.

[GDANSK] Iliad SA, Europe's sixth-largest mobile operator, on Tuesday reported a 6.3 per cent rise in third-quarter revenue, helped by record net adds for its French fiber offering and upbeat demand for its new cable box.

The French telecoms operator added 99,000 net new broadband subscribers in France during the third quarter in its best performance in nearly eight years, pushing revenue to 1.42 billion euros (S$2.26 billion), up from 1.34 billion last year.

"We massively invested in fibre optics," Chief Executive Thomas Reynaud said in a call, while also attributing the subscriber gains to Iliad's transformation plan and the summer launch of its set-top Freebox Pop.

The group, which competes with market leader Orange , Altice Europe's SFR and Bouygues Telecom , internally estimated that it had the highest number of fixed net adds in France during the quarter and also confirmed its full-year and mid-term targets.

Mr Reynaud noted the launch of Iliad's business-to-business activities as 5G becomes a reality, flagging possible applications in logistics and transport.

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The French state is set to receive some 2.8 billion euros in proceeds from the sale of its 5G spectrum following an auction that ended Oct 1, as telecom firms face huge investments to keep up with rivals.

While Iliad gained subscribers in both its core French market and Italy, it warned that coronavirus-linked disruptions could slow network rollouts and cause component shortages.

Iliad is controlled by French tycoon Xavier Niel and has been expanding steadily outside its home market in recent years, recently winning antitrust clearance for its 3.5-billion-euro acquisition of Polish No 1 mobile operator Play.

In Italy, where Iliad launched its low-price mobile offer two years ago, the group reached its end-2020 target of having over 5,000 active sites.

Iliad added 580,000 new mobile subscribers in the country, pushing revenue up 56.3 per cent as the business edges towards breakeven.

REUTERS

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