SFR boosted by media unit

facade_campus_sfr_maxime_dufour__photographies_3Altice-owned French telco and cable operator SFR said that the revenue of its media unit grew by 19% year-on-year on a like-for-like basis in the second quarter, in which overall revenue was flat.

Altice said that the improved media revenue reflected new TV channel launches, new content rights and new original productions.

Media revenues amounted to €141 million for the quarter, out of overall revenue of €2.763 billion, of which €1.786 billion was consumer revenue.

Total SFR revenue declined by 0.4% proforma for the acquisition of media assets during the year, which totaled €2.763 billion. Despite the rise in media revenues, fixed consumer revenue fell by 2.6%.

SFR has continued to lose fixed-line subscribers, posting 16,000 net losses for the quarter, but it says its fixed broadband base is stabilizing. However, the improved numbers reflected reduced DSL losses of 51,000, offsetting what it described as “disappointing” fibre net adds of 35,000. SFR said it believed the latter figure would improve as it introduces enhanced content bundles.

The company saw its post-paid mobile base grow by 34,000 in the quarter, and mobile revenue grew by 1.7%.

Overall, SFR saw its subscriber losses improve, with 34,000 net losses over the quarter against 199,000 last year.

Adjusted EBITDA was €953 million, a decline of 26.3% in overall terms or 4.6% in adjusted terms, reflecting the cost of recently acquired content rights.

Parent company Altice meanwhile reported revenue growth of 2.7% for the quarter to €5.957 billion, boosted by its US assets. Altice USA posted revenues of €2.112 billion, up 5.8% on a reported basis or 3.2% on a constant currency basis. Revenue from Portugal Telecom/Meo amounted to €576 million, up 0.1%.

“Our progress in the second quarter of 2017 shows the Altice vision of convergence really taking shape. Our extensive deployment of fiber and super fast mobile broadband networks, innovations from Altice Labs, investment in content and monetization of digital and TV advertising is driving Altice’s growth at increasingly higher levels of efficiency,” said Altice CEO Michel Combes.

“In France, we continue to significantly improve the quality of SFR’s mobile network, including reaching our 2017 target for 90% 4G population coverage six months early, supporting reduced churn and new customer growth. We are continuously expanding our content offers, as well as focusing on improving customer service and accelerating our fiber deployment in new areas to support a further improvement in our fixed business trends. And at the same time we have begun the next phase of the company’s transformation which is proceeding according to our plan.”

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