Iliad pumps funds into 5G to chase high-end gains - Mobile World Live

Iliad pumps funds into 5G to chase high-end gains

18 MAY 2021

Iliad Group laid out a plan to pursue high value-added segments of the mobile market in France by further accelerating its 5G infrastructure spend, while the company booked a jump in Q1 revenue for its Italian unit.

In its earnings statement, the operator outlined an ambition to be the leading challenger brand in France’s 5G sector, by attacking segments of the mobile market it considers to have a high value-add.

Iliad claims it had the largest number of sites offering 5G in metropolitan France by end-April.

The traditionally low-cost player added the continued rollout of 5G was a “unique growth driver” for the business and pledged to pump part of the proceeds from tower asset sales to accelerate capex related to the technology.

Iliad noted it was also in the process of reviewing its operating cashflow target for the current financial year to potentially free-up more funds.

Its latest pledge follows the opening of an €300 million loan facility with the European Investment Bank to the same end in November 2020.

Figures
The company, which included Polish acquisition Play in its Q1 results for the first time, booked a 34 per cent year-on-year increase in revenue to €1.8 billion though a significant chunk of this increase was due to the addition of its recently acquired asset.

Revenue from its largest market of France increased 2.4 per cent to €1.2 billion, and 25 per cent in Italy to €188 million. Profit figures are not disclosed on a quarterly basis.

Iliad noted its Italian business, which has been in operation since 2018, overcame an “unfavourable operating context for a new entrant” with churn rates from established rivals cut by closure of shops during lockdown measures. It expects to record its first top-line profit for the unit in Q2.

In France it pointed to improved sales of fixed products and increased customer recruitment to its unlimited 4G and 5G plans for the mobile segment.

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Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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