The good health of Free, which gained more money and subscribers in the 1st quarter

Alexander Boero

May 20, 2022 at 5:30 p.m.



© Free

The Iliad group, parent company of Free, unveiled its first quarter financial results on Friday. And these are very solid, with good financial momentum and strong subscriber recruitment.

The year 2022 has started well for Iliad. Xavier Niel’s operator confirmed, in the first quarter, its good momentum in the last installments by presenting, on Friday, a satisfactory balance sheet, marked both by a sharp increase in its turnover in France and worldwide, and excellent form on landline and mobile. Free is thus rewarded for its investments in 4G, 5G and fiber networks.

Free continues its good financial growth

In the first half of 2022, the Iliad group generated revenue of 1.93 billion euros, up 4.8% year-on-year. If for the moment the revenues generated in Poland (384 million euros, down 3.5%) are not alarming given the recent takeovers of Play and UPC Poland, finalized for the latter on 1er April 2022, Free grew by 13.9% in Italy, with revenue of €212 million. This still seems to us to be largely perfectible, given the low prices of mobile plans practiced in the peninsula.

The group’s EBITDAaL (which reflects the company’s profitability) grew by 6.1% to 714 million euros, driven by the Italian (+70 million euros) and French (+33 million euros).

As far as France is concerned, Iliad can have a smile. The operator generated a turnover of 1.34 billion euros, up 6.1% over one year, largely thanks to its subscribers (1.29 billion euros). What about the evolution of Free’s customer base?

Free, number 1 in France in the first half of 2022

In France, Free won 56,000 new fixed-line subscribers, taking into account withdrawals and customers who switched to fiber optics. The operator is close to 7 million high-speed and very high-speed subscribers (6.98 million). It should exceed them during this second quarter.

In total, more than 4 million homes in France are equipped with optical fiber supplied by Free. This is 239,000 more than three months ago, but above all, the most interesting thing remains the strong increase in the fiber adoption rate. Three months ago, 45.4% of Free landline subscribers were on fiber. They are now 57.5%.

Regarding mobile, Free has recruited 127,000 more subscribers in this first quarter, compared to the previous one. The operator now has 20.72 million subscribers in France, including 13.74 million for Free Mobile. This is the first time since 2013 that Free has dominated all its competitors in terms of fixed and mobile recruitment.

Finally, a word from Italy, where Iliad Italia remains the leading recruiter of new mobile subscribers on the market, with 320,000 recruitments over one year, and 8.8 million subscribers in total. The firm recently launched its fiber offer on site, with 293,000 metered subscribers, 26,000 more than at the end of 2021. In Poland, Iliad has 12.77 million subscribers.

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