Iliad, Bouygues Telecom earnings show French competition remains fierce

Bouygues Telecom and Iliad's latest financial results continue to reflect the effect of France's fierce mobile price wars.

Bouygues Telecom reported a 5 per cent drop year-on-year in its overall revenues for the first nine months of 2014. The company, which like Iliad offers fixed and mobile services, generated revenue of €3.3 billion ($4.1 billion) for the period.

Iliad, which has pushed aggressive cuts in mobile pricing in France since it launched mobile services in 2012, generated total revenues of €1.1 billion for the third quarter of 2014, an 11.8 per cent rise on the same quarter in 2013. Iliad, which sells its services under the name Free, reported total revenues of €3.07 billion for the first nine months of the year.

In a market where one of the four mobile network operators, SFR, is in the process of being acquired by cable company Numericable, Iliad led the dance in terms of the number of new mobile subscribers. France's newest mobile network operator notched up 480,000 new mobile customers in the three months to end-September.

Bouygues, meanwhile, posted a 24,000 rise in mobile subscribers during the third quarter, bringing its total number of mobile customers to 11 million. Most (10 million) of Bouygues' mobile customers had switched to a monthly payment plan by the end of the third quarter.

Iliad lost out to Bouygues when it came to winning fixed subscribers in the third quarter. Iliad added 70,000 new fixed subscribers compared to 104,000 for Bouygues, which benefitted from its own aggressive pricing plan in that sector.

For more:
- read Bouygues' financial results
- see Iliad's financial results release

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