August 1, 2018 / 8:07 PM / 4 months ago

Telecoms group Iliad lost clients in some areas but won elsewhere

FILE PHOTO: A guest speaks on a mobile phone as she arrives for the French telecoms operator Iliad's media conference in Milan, Italy, May 29, 2018. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

PARIS (Reuters) - French telecoms operator Iliad (ILD.PA) said on Wednesday that it had lost customers in some parts of its business but won over others elsewhere, as it responded to media articles that it had been losing out to market leader Orange (ORAN.PA).

On Tuesday, Iliad shares had slumped 7.7 percent following reports that a record number of mobile clients had defected in the second-quarter in favour of Orange.

“The group wishes to issue the following statement after publication of rumours in the press,” Iliad said on Wednesday.

“In accordance with the announcements made in May, the group has clearly defined its priority of increasing its Free Mobile 4G Plan subscriber base,” said Iliad.

“An extremely competitive environment in the second quarter led to a fall in the €0/month and €2/month Plans subscriber base, but the number of Free Mobile 4G Plan subscribers has continued to increase steadily,” it added.

Investors have penalized Iliad, founded by telecoms maverick and billionaire entrepreneur Xavier Niel, after the group reported a loss in the number of broadband subscribers in the first quarter, for the first time ever.

Iliad shares closed down 0.7 percent at 134.50 euros on Wednesday. The stock has fallen by around 30 percent since the start of 2018.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Sarah White

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