“The turnaround of Altice Europe is materialising,” the executive said in its earnings statement.
“Significant and continued investments in networks, as well as the consistent improvements in customer care, have led to a material reduction in churn rates,” Drahi noted, adding there had also been “strong improvement in customer satisfaction” and call volume advances.
The company reported a reduction in costs in its French mobile and fixed operation SFR, while premium content including European football and network improvements contributed to a 117,000 increase in post-paid mobile customers.
Although EBITDA in France improved, revenue for the period was broadly flat at €2.6 billion when excluding the impact of tax changes.
During Q1, it completed the sale of almost half of SFR’s medium-to-low density FTTH business for €1.7 billion. However, it also made “significant network investments” contributing to a capex of €771 million.
In Portugal, where it runs PT, Altice Europe said it: “Achieved a solid level of customer acquisition in the first quarter, resulting in positive revenue growth with careful cost control.”
It also has operations in Israel and the Dominican Republic, filed alongside Portugal in its International segment.
Revenue across its operations was €3.5 billion in Q1, broadly flat year-on-year. EBITDA was up 4 per cent to €1.3 billion. Net profit figures were not reported.
At the end of Q1 net debt was €30.1 billion, up from €28.8 billion in the three months since end-2018.
To meet its financial targets of further reducing debt the company is in the process of assessing the sale of fibre assets in Portugal and mulling the future of other parts of its business.
In its earnings call the company said it “did not need to sell many [more] assets” to meet its financial target due to the organic growth taking place in its core operations.