Iliad shares drop 4% as mobile phone growth slows


Shares in France's Iliad fell more than 4 percent after the low-cost telecoms operator founded by billionaire Xavier Niel reported slower growth at its mobile phone business Free.

Iliad said the number of new mobile customers fell to 640,000 in the third quarter from 720,000 in the second, suggesting that a price war with more established mobile operators is making it harder for Iliad's (Paris, France) Free Mobile service to lure away their customers.

It was the slowest quarterly increase in customers for Free Mobile since its launch, although the third quarter is traditionally a slower period.

Some analysts had anticipated the slowdown and had expected Iliad to launch a new commercial formula to boost sales.

"Be patient. We will launch new offers in the months ahead, when the time is right," Iliad finance chief Thomas Reynaud told Reuters.

Iliad said in a statement that Free had 7,435,000 mobile customers at the end of September, for a mobile market share of more than 11 percent, up from 10 percent at the end of June.

Mobile now generates a third of the company's revenues, which rose 23 percent to 2.77 billion euros ($3.73 billion) in the January-to-September period.

Third-quarter revenue was up 15 percent to 944 million euros. Analysts from Barclays, Credit Suisse and JP Morgan had expected quarterly revenue of between 927 and 935 million euros.

"These solid results demonstrate Iliad's ability to deliver results, even if does not beat expectations by as much as in earlier quarters," a Paris-based trader said.

Free's no-frills deals - which cost 2 euros or 19.99 euros a month without a phone or long-term contract - have forced larger competitors France Telecom (Paris, France), Vivendi's SFR (Paris, France) and Bouygues Telecom (Paris, France) to cut costs to compete and accelerate construction of superfast 4G networks to offer a better service than Iliad.

"When the time is right, we too will offer 4G," Reynaud said, adding that competitors' 4G launches had no impact on Free mobile's growth.

Shares in Iliad are up nearly 30 percent this year, after a 36 percent rise last year, and are in line with a broader rally by a European telecoms sector index this year.

The company has a market capitalization of 9.7($1 = 0.7430 euros)

(Writing by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Mark Potter and Tom Pfeiffer)


Related Tags

Featured Reports

Content Delivery Networks (CDN) 2015
Content Delivery Networks (CDN) represent large distributed system of servers deployed in multiple data centers across the Internet. CDNs provide solutions for efficiently and effectively managing content of all types. Solutions include core services such as aggregation, management, and distribution of content as well as a variety of value-added functionality.


Cable Carrier Wi-Fi: MSO Take MNO Market Share
How does a cable provider gain a bigger piece of the telecom market pie chart? With a clever Wi-Fi strategy, cable providers are in a unique position to dominate the residential and business telecommunications markets. This is the portent of things to come in the very near future: an MSO as MNO play.


Structured and Unstructured (Big) Data in Telecom Analytics
This report provides the reader with a broad understanding of telecom data (structured and unstructured/big data) and related analytics. The report identifies market drivers and opportunities as well as forecasts for certain key growth areas such as deep packet inspection.


Affordable Market Reports on Big Data, IoT, CDN & More!
Access the exclusive new series of market research reports brought to you through the partnership of Mind Commerce research and
Browse the latest titles



Featured Events & Partners

GEN 15
Nov. 16-19, 2015

Omni Hotel, Dallas, Texas

The global gathering of networking professionals enabling the future of agile, assured and orchestrated services powered by CE 2.0, LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration), SDN and NFV.

Visit event website...