SFR recruits and confirms its return to growth


This is better for SFR, which, after a second quarter that marked its return to the green, confirms having found a certain financial health despite a debt that remains very high.

A quarterly turnover up 7.2% to 2.6 billion euros for SFR. Revenue up 6.9% worldwide for its Altice parent company. A churn rate sharply down (-15%). Net recruitment of 41,000 subscribers on the fixed line and 234,000 mobile customers, bringing the respective subscriber totals of these two activities to 6.3 and 14.2 million.

So many indicators that show that SFR is indeed recovering after long quarters of scarcity during which the operator will have constantly sacrificed his average income per user to recruit at low prices (see third quarter results 2018). With the obligation, moreover, to seek to calm the grumblings of shareholders worried by the very large debt of Patrick Drahi's group (still greater than 30 billion euros).

+ 59,000 subscribers on the fiber

As Free, which has just signed a very good third quarter, in addition to a nice coup on the stock market with a public share buyback offer to 1.4 billion euros, SFR highlights the good commercial performance of its offers in optical fiber (a mix between FTTH and FTTLA), which record the arrival of 59,000 subscribers (new customers and migrations).

Also, the launch of Box 8 in August would be a success, even if SFR does not quantify it, preventing us from qualifying this supposed performance. And when SFR declares "Recruiting customers from all (his) competitors " or have "Significantly improved customer retention"again, these are assertions impossible to verify.

Be that as it may, the telecom market seems to be easing a little after a period of strong price competition, which is not surprising as 5G bidding is imminent and likely to cost very expensive to the operators. And Patrick Drahi to conclude on a point that will interest mainly shareholders: SFR is preparing to sell its fiber optic network deployed in Portugal. An operation already mentioned by Altice, but which seems to take a little longer than expected to materialize, although it should allow the operator to absorb a little more debt.

Recommended article: 5G: SFR expects to spend 2.5 billion euros and does not exclude Huawei equipment


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