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PARIS: French media and telecommunications group Iliad, which shook up the mobile market with a cut-rate offer that attracted 5.2 million clients last year, posted a 26 percent drop in its 2012 profit yesterday owing to roll-out costs, while second-half results were better than expected.
Iliad, which owns the telecoms operator Free, reported a 2012 net profit of ¤186.5m ($240m), down from ¤251.8m in 2011, but shares in the group leapt by more than 6.35 percent on the Paris stock exchange to ¤159.20, while the market was off by 0.56 percent.
The group invested almost ¤950m in its operations last year, or 30 percent of sales, and chief executive Maxime Lombardini said that it planned to maintain “a similar amount for 2013” to underpin the group’s “very strong growth.”
Core earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) gained 10.6 percent, which Lombardini said was “fairly exceptional for the first year of mobile activity.” Sales were almost 50 percent higher at ¤3.1bn after Free added the mobile service to its fixed-line, television and Internet access operations, while aggregate Ebidta climbed to ¤921.4m, which included a loss of ¤46.1m from the mobile unit. AFP