Vivendi-backed French fixed and mobile operator Societe Francaise du Radiotelephone (SFR) said a new VAT legal standard and mobile termination price cuts imposed by regulatory bodies adversely impacted its economic performance in the first nine months of this year. The group booked revenue of EUR9.137 billion (USD12.407 billion) for January-September 2011, a 2.6% decrease compared to the same period of 2010. Excluding the impact from the regulators’ decisions, revenues increased by 2.3% year-on-year. SFR said mobile revenue dipped 4.7% year-on-year in 9M11 to EUR6.353 billion; excluding the impact from the new VAT standard and government-imposed price cuts, mobile service revenues increased by 1.2% y-o-y.
SFR added a net 381,000 new post-paid subscribers in the first nine months of this year, boosting the post-paid to total to 16.202 million by end-September, and improving the customer mix by 1.4 percentage points to 76.6% (contract users). The total user base topped 21.158 million at the start of October 2011, aided in part by this summer’s launch of its ‘Formules Carrees’ offerings which had attracted more than 1.7 million customers by the end of September. The operator has also pursued its strategy of entering into agreements with mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), signing an additional contract with NRJ–CIC Mobile in September after the one announced with Virgin Mobile in June 2011. Vivendi said the The La Poste Mobile MVNO, which is 49% owned by SFR, attracted 200,000 net new customers between end-May and end-September, Vivendi said.
The French group posted broadband internet and fixed revenues of EUR2.994 billion in 9M11, a 1.7% increase compared to the first nine months of 2010. Vivendi said that excluding the impact of VAT and price cuts, revenues from this business segment climbed 2.7% y-o-y. At the end of September 2011 SFR had a total of 5.012 million residential (retail) broadband customers, up 5.0% year-on-year.