French full-service telecoms operator SFR – part of the Vivendi group – posted total fixed and mobile revenues of EUR4.909 billion (USD6.476 billion) in the first half of 2014, a 4.7% decrease compared to the same period of 2013, although the company noted that the decline in revenues has decelerated: the fall in sales was recorded at 3.5% during the second quarter of 2014, versus 5.8% during the first quarter. At the end of June 2014, SFR’s total mobile customer base increased by 2.0% year-on-year to 21.379 million, including 18.202 million post-paid users or 85.1% of the overall base. The operator’s residential fixed broadband internet customer base increased by 42,500 during the first six months of 2014 to 5.299 million.
Retail-only revenues amounted to EUR3.215 billion in January-June 2014, down 7.3% year-on-year. Within the mobile retail market, the post-paid customer base decreased slightly by 17,000 in the first half of 2014 to 11.364 million (up 2.2% on mid-2013), while SFR’s total mobile retail customer base reached 14.304 million. In the fixed retail market, the broadband residential customer base in mainland France reached 5.248 million at the end of June 2014, with 39,000 net additions in the six-month period, as the fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) subscriber base reached 238,000. The ‘Multi-Packs de SFR’ multi-play offer gained 400,000 customers compared to the end of June 2013 and had 2.534 million subscribers at the end of the reporting period, representing 48.3% of the broadband internet base.
SFR’s B2B revenues fell 6.5% year-on-year to EUR884 million in H1 2014 in a ‘challenging macro-economic environment’, whilst SFR completed the acquisition of Telindus in the second quarter, which will expand its presence in the telecommunication integration market and enable the provision of new services to its corporate customers. Wholesale and other revenues increased by 9.8% year-on-year in 6M 2014 to EUR810 million, mainly due to growth in the wholesale business.
Excluding non-recurring items, SFR’s consolidated EBITDA amounted to EUR1.302 billion in the six months ended 30 June 2014, an 11.4% y-o-y decrease; including non-recurring items, SFR’s EBITDA stood at EUR1.190 billion.
The proposed acquisition of SFR by Numericable is expected to close within the next few months subject to certain closing conditions, including receiving the approval of the relevant authorities. Reuters reported yesterday that Vivendi’s chief financial officer Herve Philippe said on a conference call after the Q2 results that the French group’s cash proceeds from the SFR sale were now expected to be EUR13.1 billion, EUR450 million lower than initially announced because of sale price adjustments. Meanwhile, Vivendi has committed to providing financing of up to EUR200 million for Numericable’s EUR325 million purchase of Virgin Mobile France, subject to regulatory approval.