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Altice Europe bounces back with solid Q1

Multinational quad-play provider Altice Europe bounced back in the first quarter, with the company’s consumer fixed base growing by 88,000, including 63,000 fibre customers.

Altice France, the group’s key operating unit, achieved a good level of customer acquisition in the first quarter in a market with fewer promotions. Altice France also grew its mobile base by 117,000.

Altice France revenues were flat for the quarter but EBITDA was up 4.5% on a reported basis compared with a 10.9% decline in Q4.

In Portugal, Altice’s Meo saw its fixed-line base growth by 4,000 customers, with 41,000 new fibre additions boosted by the company’s extension in coverage of its network.

Revenue grew modestly while the unit’s EBITDA trend improved significantly, posting a 1.4% decline compared with a 13.8% decline in Q4.

Altice Europe confirmed its full-year goals and posted overall revenues of €3.52 billion, down 0.4%, while EBITDA was up 4% to €1.3 billion.

“The turnaround of Altice Europe is materializing. Significant and continued investments in networks, as well as the consistent improvements in customer care, have led to a material reduction in churn rates, call volumes and strong improvement in customer satisfaction.

In Q1 2019, Altice Europe started benefiting from this successful operational turnaround achieved by the new management teams put in place 18 months ago. Our two silos France and International are now growing for the first time since the IPO and the Group is back to EBITDA growth paving the way for an acceleration of the deleveraging,” said Altice Europe founder Patrick Drahi.

Separately, Meo has launched what it claims to be the first pay-per-view event in Portugal, charging €2 for viewers to watch a benefit concert at the Altice Forum in the northern city of Braga by local rock and blues singer Rui Veloso. The concert was broadcast on Meo TV, with revenue donated to the Braga Red Cross for a project concerning the social exclusion of vulnerable children.