Free brand drives Iliad’s third-quarter growth

16 Nov 2010

French broadband internet provider and would-be mobile start-up Iliad (Free) has reported a 5% rise in net profit for the three months to 30 September 2010, but said the increased popularity of its Free brand was offset by a poor showing for its Alice services. Iliad is struggling to maintain market share in a sector where its main rivals – France Telecom, Bouygues Telecom and to a lesser extent SFR (neuf Cegetel) – have embarked upon major marking drives to secure new users. Iliad, which offers a range of low-cost triple-play bundles, said its 3Q10 revenue climbed to EUR511 million (USD696 million) but, as it currently lacks a mobile phone option, it confirmed it is losing traction to rivals which can offer ‘quadruple-play’ packages. France Telecom, for example, attracted close to 100,000 new customers to its quad-play service in the third quarter, compared to Iliad’s 36,000 net new additions – a marked slowdown on the 125,000 new users added in the first six months of this year. Iliad closed out September 2010 with 4.53 million broadband subscribers, the vast majority of which (four million) were on Free. However, Alice continues to flounder, posting a 15.3% year-on-year drop in sales to EUR64.4 million. On a positive note, Iliad is looking to launch its new mobile service by 2012, having secured the country’s fourth mobile licence in December last year.

France, Iliad (Free)