France-based telco says Italian business can break even with 10% market share.

Iliad on Tuesday reported a 7% increase in revenue for full-year 2016, driven by continued strong growth at its mobile business.

The France-based telco ended the year with 12.7 million mobile customers, good enough for an 18% share of the market. By comparison, at the end of 2015, Iliad’s mobile base stood at 11.7 million, giving it a market share of around 17%. The company’s long-term ambition is to reach 25%.

Its 4G customer base surged to 5.9 million from 3.7 million.

These strong customer additions helped to drive an 11.7% year-on-year increase in mobile revenue, which came in at €2.04 billion – the first time it has topped €2 billion.

"This robust growth for mobile services was directly attributable to the better subscriber mix, with more subscribers choosing the €19.99 per month offer," said Iliad, in a statement.

Iliad’s fixed broadband business increased its customer base to 6.4 million from 6.1 million. Its fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) base jumped 50% during 2016 to reach 310,000, while the number of premises passed grew to 4.4 million from 2.5 million.

Full-year fixed revenues grew by 3.6% to €2.69 billion.

"This good subscriber recruitment level was achieved despite a persistently fiercely competitive environment in which the group carried out one-off targeted promotional campaigns," said Iliad.

At group level, revenue for 2016 came in at €4.72 billion, up from €4.41 billion in 2015. EBITDA grew by 12.5% to €1.68 billion. Full-year profit grew to €402.7 million from €335.0 million.

As well as cheering a strong performance in France, Iliad also made bullish comments about its prospects in Italy.

In July last year, the company agreed to acquire assets, including 35 MHz of spectrum, that were divested when 3 Italia and Wind agreed to combine their operations into a joint venture. Iliad’s deal also included an option to invoke network-sharing and roaming agreements with the merged entity.

"These different assets, combined with the group’s know-how, mean that it can implement an efficient cost model in view of achieving balanced EBITDA with a market share of less than 10%," Iliad said.