PARIS, March 19 (Reuters) - France’s upstart telecom operator Iliad saw a drop in its net profit last year because of the ongoing cost of building its new mobile network, but said it would propose a stable dividend of 0.37 euros per share.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 10.6 percent to 921.4 million euros as the new mobile service drew additional customers to the traditional broadband and fixed business.
Analysts were expecting EBITDA of 827.77 million and net income of 164.12 million euros, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Iliad, which markets its services under the brand name Free in France, also said it would aim for growth in revenue from fixed services of more than 5 percent this year.
Earlier Iliad posted an increase of nearly 50 percent in full-year sales to 3.15 billion euros, and said it had captured some 8 percent mobile market share after gaining 5.2 million customers last year.
Since it launched in January 2012, Iliad’s Free Mobile service has touched off a price war and forced larger competitors France Telecom, Vivendi’s SFR, and Bouygues Telecom to cut costs to compete.
Reporting by Leila Abboud; Editing by Christian Plumb