French broadband operator Iliad (Free) has reported H1 2009 consolidated revenues of EUR969.8 million (USD million), up 40.1% on the EUR692.2 million figure reported in the same period of 2008, driven by broadband subscriber gains for its Free brand, the impact of its acquisition of Telecom Italia France (Alice) unit and increased usage of added value services available to Free and Alice subscribers. Based on the strength of its earnings report, the company maintained its short- and medium-term objectives. The company also confirmed its candidature for the forthcoming auction of France’s fourth and final 3G licence, the tender for which was launched last Saturday.
In a statement, Iliad said: ‘The French mobile phone market represents EUR22 billion a year in revenue and constitutes an additional growth vector for Iliad. Its entry into this market would be in line with the Group’s business strategy: Iliad intends to rely on its Free brand, its latest-generation network, its capacity for innovation, its commercial expertise and its 4.4 million-strong subscriber base (with some ten million users) to develop innovative products at attractive prices.’
In the first six months of this year Iliad (Free) said it had worked hard to consolidate its position as the country’s leading alternative operator for ADSL-based broadband services, due to ‘the dynamism of the Free brand and the integration of Alice’. As at 30 June 2009 Iliad’s ADSL service had a total of 4.371 million subscribers, up from 3.134 million a year ago. The company recorded 200,000 net new additions in H1 2009, or 24.8% of all net adds in the country, claiming that Free’s customer acquisition costs are still the lowest on the market. The Free unit had 3.589 million users by the mid-2009 point, while Alice, which is in the process of a full integration, had 782,000 users at the same date. Iliad Group is also continuing efforts to extend local loop unbundling. In the first six months of the year it unbundled a further 175 Central Offices (COs), for a total of 2,375 as at 30 June. At the same date Iliad said more than 81% of subscribers were partly or fully unbundled.