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Altice expects to ‘remain resilient’ after exceeding 2019 expectations

Service provider Altice Europe expects its cash-flow to “remain resilient” in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic after it ended 2019 on a high with revenue for the full year growing by 11.2% to €4.042 billion, an improvement on the 6.9% growth recorded in 2018. The company said its performance exceeded guidance it had given.

The group said that its cash-flow would be cushioned from Coronavirus this year by the nature of the business in which it operates, but it expects sales – along with churn – to be impacted by the closure of stores. The company will also reduce marketing spend as a result of the crisis.

EBITDA for 2019 grew by 14.3% to €1.448 billion.

In the fourth quarter, Altice France added 44,000 fixed customers, grew its fibre base by 78,000 and increased its mobile base by 196,000.

Altice France posted revenue growth of 13.3% in the fourth quarter, up on the 7.2% reported for the previous quarter.

Altice Portugal/Meo grew its residential fixed base by 2,000 in the fourth quarter and grew its fibre base by 35,000, boosted by increased coverage. Meo added 42,000 post-paid mobile subscribers, offset by the removal of 25,000 non-paying mobile broadband customers, leading to a net gain of 17,000.

Meo grew its revenue by 3.3% in the quarter, up from 2.1% in the previous quarter.

Altice Europe found Patrick Drahi thanked his employees “many of whom remain active on the ground as well as those who are working from home, to provide our customers with key services of connectivity and information” for working during the crisis.

Drahi said that in 2019 the group “achieved an acceleration in revenue growth in all of our geographies”.

“We have entered FY 2020 with a strong performance so far this year, and we are very confident that we are going to build on the improved financial performance of FY 2019 while prevailing from an unprecedented crisis,” he said.