French low-cost operator Iliad has posted net profit of EUR186.5 (USD241.1 million) for 2012, down 26% year-on-year, despite a near-50% rise in revenues. The company attributed the fall in net income to ‘the beginning of depreciation/amortisation for the Group’s mobile assets (network, licence, roaming charges etc) and, to a lesser extent, depreciation/amortisation related to optical fibre and the Freebox Revolution’. Consolidated EBITDA came in at EUR921.4 million, up 10.6% year-on-year, thanks to growth of 16.1% in the company’s wireline EBITDA, which more than offset a negative EBITDA of EUR46.1 million from its wireless unit.
Iliad also responded to claims that its Free Mobile unit was overly relying on roaming agreements and not doing enough to deploy its own network. ‘We need roaming to begin our mobile business but we are investing massively to build our own network at the same time,’ said CFO Thomas Reynaud. In outlining its goals, Iliad says its mobile network will cover 75% of the population by the end of 2014. The company is also targeting revenues of more than EUR4 billion by 2015, up from the EUR3.153 billion recorded in 2012.