Iliad’s aggressive entry into Italy attracted 2.2 million mobile customers by the end of Q3, its first full quarter of operation, though fierce competition continued to hit revenue in its home market of France.
Fixed and mobile revenue at the company’s Free Mobile brand in France declined 2 per cent year-on-year to €1.19 billion during the quarter. However, Italy spared the company’s blushes, with combined revenue up 1.7 per cent to €1.24 billion when the latter is included.
Iliad does not release quarterly profit figures.
In a statement it revealed a decline in connection numbers in France which it first reported during H1 endured in Q3, as the number of users on its cheapest plans fell. Iliad said it continued to face “fiercely competitive promotions for entry-level offerings” from other providers.
It noted its policy to move a greater proportion of its Free Mobile users onto unlimited 4G plans had been a success, though it declared a net loss of 90,000 connections in the first nine months of the year, leaving it with 13.5 million at end-September.
While low-priced competition hit its performance in France, the company’s aggressive offers in Italy have shaken the market. Its opening deal contributed to forcing rivals to slash prices and, in the case of Vodafone Italy, launch discount brand Ho.
In a statement, Iliad said its Italian unit had become a “widely recognised brand” in the country and achieved outstanding performance since its launch in late May.