Altice sees strong subscriber recovery but revenues dip

Altice Europe has seen a strong recovery in subscriber numbers in France and growth in Portugal, but its revenues for 2018 dipped.

Altice France/SFR attracted 1.3 million customers in the course of the year, more than the number of customers lost over the three years since Altice’s acquisition of SFR.

The French unit saw churn reduce 30% in the fourth Quarter, driven by what Altice said were consistent improvements in customer service and network quality.

Altice France added 83,000 subscribers in total in Q4, against a loss of 45,000 customers in Q4 2017. Some 41% of fixed customers are now on the operator’s fibre network.

Altice France’s mobile base grew by 187,000, up from additions of 76,000 for the same period in the prior year, thanks in part to the availability of Champions League football coverage on the group’s mobile network as well as network improvement.

Altice Portugal meanwhile saw 167,000 subscribers added in the course of the year, three times the level of 2017.

Altice Portugal added 8,000 fixed customers in Q4, up from 6,000 in the same period for the prior year.

Altice Europe’s financial performance was less impressive than its operational metrics however. The group saw revenue decline 1.8% at constant currency or 2.9% on a reported basis to €14.6 billion, while adjusted EBITDA was down 5.9% at constant currency and 8.9% on a reported basis to €5.6 billion

Founder Patrick Drahi said that the group had seen “a tangible inflection in Portugal and France, paving the way for growth in 2019, underpinned by our strategy in infrastructure and content”.

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