Altice, which in invests in cable and telecom assets as well as media properties in a number of countries, said it had achieved strong operating momentum in the fourth quarter, adding 270,000 post-paid mobile customers and 130,000 fibre broadband subscribers.
The group said the strong operational momentum had laid the ground for revenue trend improvement this year.
In France, SFR added 140,000 post-paid mobile subscribers but lost around 6,000 fixed customers – an improved performance on that allowed the group to claim it had stabilised the fixed base. The group added 78,000 fibre customers in the same period.
SFR had 4.84 million fibre-based revenue generating units at the end of the fourth quarter, including 1.593 million pay TV customers, up 76,000 for the quarter, and 1.634 million broadband customers, up 89,000. The company had 6.353 million fixed customers overall.
In Portugal, Altice-owned Meo added 19,000 quad and quintuple-play customers and 49,000 post-paid mobile customers. Total fibre RGUs numbered 1.166 million, including 396,000 pay TV customers, up 8,000. Fibre broadband customers numbered 371,000.
US operator Suddenlink saw 13,000 additional customers come on board while broadband subscriber growth amounted to 21,000.
The company said it planned to built out fibre to a further three million households in the next five years.
Group adjusted EBITDA was up 17.6% to €6.671 million and free cash-flow grew by 33%. Revenue was flat at €17.495 billion, pulled down by churn in France, where revenue was down 3.5% to €11.038 billion. International revenue was down 0.45 TO €4.324 billion, while revenue from US cable subsidiary Suddenlink was up 24.7% to €2.181 billion.
“We end 2015 delivering the best quarterly KPIs since our IPO with all major operations seeing significant improvements as a result of operational focus, integration and investments. These improvements are in the context of group adjusted EBITDA up 18% and operating free cash flow up 33% for 2015 [pro forma including Suddenlink], significantly higher than peers over the past year, with improving revenue trends in each local market,” said Dexter Goei, CEO.
“We have strengthened our management team and during 2016 we will continue to be very focused on further improving operational and financial performance, integrating the businesses we have acquired and pursuing the efficiency targets we have set out. Altice Group companies have best-in-class margins with further upside as we continue our successful strategy based on fixed/mobile and media convergence and the implementation of best practices and efficiencies across all of our operations. We remain confident that accelerating investments in both fiber and 4G+ infrastructure, as well as higher value generation through focus on triple- and quadruple play bundles enhanced with differentiated content offerings, will continue to deliver superior results.”