Iliad’s profits jump as sales grow and adjust to energy costs

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A guest talks on a mobile phone as she arrives for French telecommunications operator Iliad’s news conference in Milan, Italy, May 29, 2018. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

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Aug 30 (Reuters) – French telecommunications company Iliad on Tuesday reported higher half-year core profits, driven by growth in the three countries in which it operates and the integration of Polish broadband operator UPC.

Iliad, which billionaire Xavier Niel privatized last year, said it was “keeping a watchful eye” on market volatility and taking steps to reduce energy consumption, including making equipment more efficient and turning off certain frequency bands at night.

“We are facing an unprecedented inflationary context on our supply costs and our energy costs, but I really have full confidence in (our) ability to adapt,” said CEO Thomas Reynaud.

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Iliad reported core earnings (EBITDA) after leases, or long-term contracts, of €1.58 billion ($1.58 billion) in the first half of 2022, up nearly 13% year-on-year. year.

Its French turnover increased by 6.6% to 2.71 billion euros, while Italy saw growth of 15.4% to 442 million. Revenue in Poland, where Iliad acquired UPC last year and mobile operator Play in 2020, increased by 9.7%.

During a press conference, the company reiterated the group’s interest in buying an Italian counterpart if competitors wanted to sell assets.

The group also said it signed a network-sharing deal for sparsely populated areas in Italy with rival Wind Tre in April.

It added 187,000 new subscribers in France in the second quarter and 257,000 mobile customers in Italy.

“Overall, Iliad is strongly following the market at the expense of its main competitors in its main markets,” Credit Suisse analysts wrote in a note to clients.

“Strong broadband trends in France suggest that the French fixed market may be a little more competitive than expected, while Italy is likely to remain a challenge for its peers,” added Credit Suisse.

Iliad’s Free is one of the main French mobile operators alongside Orange (ORAN.PA), SFR and Bouygues Telecom (BOUY.PA). In Italy, it competes with Vodafone Italy and Telecom Italia (TLIT.MI).

($1 = 1.0001 euros)

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Reporting by Valentine Baldassari in Gdansk; edited by Milla Nissi and Barbara Lewis

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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