France-based operator group Iliad began reviewing its options for 5,700 mobile sites as it seeks to raise cash to accelerate network rollout across its two markets.
As part of its 2018 annual results statement, the company said it was looking into forming an “industrial partnership” with an unnamed investor to raise funds to speed-up infrastructure deployment and “maximise value creation”.
It is not clear if the company is looking to sell-off the assets completely or divest a stake in the units.
During 2018 Iliad entered its second market, Italy, though simultaneously the operator was losing subscribers in its home market as it changed its strategy to attract a higher ARPU base.
In a statement, Iliad said its unit in France had moved to “less aggressive and more targeted promotions” during 2018 in addition to introducing new loyalty policies. During the year it lost 254,000 mobile subscribers in its home market, ending December with a base of 13.4 million.
Iliad set up shop in Italy in May 2018, with a strategy based on significantly undercutting rivals’ pricing. It claimed “outstanding commercial success” having secured 2.8 million subscribers by the end of the year.
Overall net profit for 2018 was €330 million, down 18.5 per cent year-on-year. Revenue in France fell 2 per cent year-on-year to €4.8 billion, due primarily to a decline in takings from its landline division. In Italy revenue was €125 million, resulting in an operating loss in the country of €52 million.
Iliad’s net debt at the end of the year was €4 billion, up from €2.5 billion at end-2017, with high capital expenditure costs recorded in Italy as it continues to construct its network.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back