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Not very convincing about a return to growth

After its stock suffered a hellish descent throughout 2018 and then a new sharp drop since the beginning of 2019, Iliad has released its 2018 results. As expected, the Q4 numbers are not very convincing about a return to growth. Q4 revenues were down by 0.5% yoy but, most importantly, they declined by 3.1% yoy in France excluding sales of terminals. Remember, they were flat in H1 18 and down by 2% yoy in Q3. So a slight acceleration in the decline, more noticeable on the mobile side (-1.2% yoy excluding sales of terminals while they had grown by 3.4% in H1 and were flat in Q3) than on the fixed side where the trend remains the same compared to the previous quarter (-3.2% yoy vs -2.2% in H1 but -3.8% in Q3). In Italy, since launching its mobile business at the end of May, Iliad has succeeded in winning 2.84m subscribers (of which 635k in June, 1.6m in Q3 and 610k in Q4) to generate eventually €70m in revenues in Q3 (c.€9 per subscriber per month). The annual EBITDA stood at €1.75bn, down by 1.2% yoy (and by 1.5% in H2). Note, however, that in France, excluding the Italian losses, EBITDA was up by 1.7% yoy (but by only 1.2% in H2). The French EBITDA margin was indeed quite resilient at 37.9% in 2018 vs 36.5% in 2017 (and at 38.5% in H2 18). But, with the logical increase in D&A (21.5% of the sales while the real capex represented in 2018 32.5% of the sales in France), operating profit and net profit were both down by c.20% for the whole year.

  • 19 Mar 19
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