Iliad Group saw year-on-year Q1 revenue rise by 7 per cent, to €1.07 billion, largely thanks to the continuing popularity of Free Mobile, its budget brand in France, which raked in 420,000 new customers during the three-month period.
Mobile revenue jumped 18.5 per cent, to €438 million, compared with Q1 2014.
As of 31 March, Free Mobile had a shade over 10.5 million connections – a 15 per cent market share. In a statement, the company proclaimed itself “France’s leading recruiter
of mobile subscribers for the 13th consecutive quarter.” It’s an impressive land grab given that the operator has only been around since 2012, and one which has been strongly felt by incumbents Orange and Bouygues.
Aside from highlighting improvements in its commercial offerings, Iliad drew attention to 4G rollout as another reason for strong mobile growth – more than 950 new 4G sites deployed in Q1 2015 compared with 400 in the same quarter the year previously.
Growth in the Group’s landline business was not as impressive, up a meagre 0.3 per cent, to €640 million. Although 77,000 new broadband subscribers were added during Q1, which, said Iliad, represented a net add market share of 42 per cent, ARPU dipped because of promotional offers.
Iliad had 5.9 million broadband subscribers as of 31 March, around 700,000 of which are on “ultra-fast broadband”.
No figures on profitability were released, but Iliad did confirm its objective to grow consolidated EBITDA by more than 10 per cent during 2015. That would beat its full-year 2014 performance on core earnings, which grew 6.6 per cent, year-on-year, to €1.28 billion.