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Numericable-SFR to pay out dividend

facade_campus_sfr_maxime_dufour__photographies_3Altice-backed French service provider Numericable-SFR has announced that it will pay out a dividend of €5.70 a share, amounting to €2.5 billion in total.

Numericable-SFR said that dividend would not have an impact on the group’s financial strength, which profitability improving quarter-by-quarter since the end of 2014. It said that its plan to cut costs through synergies following SFR’s acquisition by Numericable was progressing faster than anticipated and that that the company’s strategy had enabled it to reposition itself and generate profits more rapidly than expected.

The dividend will be financed in part by a €1.6 billion secured loan. It said that its overall debt would remain under four times EBITDA.

The dividend comes despite doubts expressed by some, including ratings agency Moody’s, about Numericable-SFR’s level of indebtedness.