Iliad to invest $1.15 bn in Italy to focus on mobile business

Telecoms operator Iliad has presented its new low-price mobile offer for Italy as part of the strategy to offset weakness at its home market in France.
Iliad in Italy
The company will spend more than one billion euros or $1.15 billion in Italy in coming years to build its own infrastructure and market its services.

Iliad did not rule out entering the fixed-line business in Italy in the future, Levi said, but added the company was focused on mobile for the time being.

Iliad’s arrival in Italy is expected to put additional financial pressure on the country’s biggest phone group Telecom Italia and the other operators in the country, Vodafone and Wind Tre. Each control around a third of the Italian mobile market, Reuters reported.

Iliad’s Italy head Benedetto Levi said the group would offer a mobile package costing 5.99 euros or $6.92 per month with a view to bagging a “substantial” share of the Italian market from established telecom business groups.

The offer, available to the first one million mobile phone customers, includes 30 gigabytes of traffic and unlimited text messaging. He said the company is expected to reach one million customer base in Italy quickly.

Iliad expects to reach break-even in Italy at the core earnings level with a market share of less than 10 percent.

Iliad missed quarterly revenue forecasts earlier this month, triggering a fall in its shares and a management rejig to try to revive growth.

Iliad reported that that its net profit was essentially flat in 2017 despite 5.6 percent rise in revenue that was largely driven by its mobile business. Iliad said that its mobile business performed strongly in the year, with revenue rising 8.4 percent due to a steady increase in subscribers.

Iliad’s net profit for the 12 months fell slightly to 397.9 million euros or $490.3 million from 401.1 million euros a year earlier. Revenue rose to 4.99 billion euros from 4.72 billion euros.