Altice Group has shrugged off "aggressive" competition in France and falling profits in Portugal to post a 6.9 percent increase in its bottom line, thanks to the performance of its US arm.

Sales at SFR in France were down 0.4 percent to €2.76 billion and adjusted EBITDA down 4.6 percent to €953m.

While the operator noted an improved sequential performance, it said competition has "deteriorated" thanks to aggressive promotions from rivals over a longer period of time.

Another reason for the drop in EBITDA was its recent acquisition of sports rights and a multi-country deal with Netflix.

SFR was buoyed by 34,000 net additions in its B2C contract base during the quarter, reversing 199,000 net losses a year ago and bringing its mobile base to 14.6 million.

While it continued to reduce the number of net losses in its fixed line business, it still lost 16,000 customers in the quarter, which it held responsible for a 2.6 percent fall in revenues.

This drop in customers was from its DSL and non-fibre base. There was better news in fibre and cable, where SFR had 35,000 net adds, bringing those numbers up to 2.1 million.

The operator passed 10 million homes with fibre by the end of the second quarter, an increase of 330,000 on three months ago.

B2B and Wholesale sales dropped 0.7 percent as Altice almost managed to offset price competition with new contract wins and higher roaming revenues.

In Portugal, reported revenues were flat at €576 million but adjusted EBITDA fell 8.3 percent.

The operator said it was starting to see the benefits in its accelerated investment in fibre with its best fixed consumer performance in three years. It had 33,000 net additions during the quarter, bringing its base to 542,000.

Earlier this month, a former Microsoft executive was appointed to lead its Portugese arm. The operator also bought Portugal's Media Capital in July with a view to bolster its digital, TV and radio services.

However, it was across the Atlantic that Altice truly performed. Sales were up 3.2 percent to €2.11 billion and adjusted EBITDA up 22.2 percent to €913 million when currency fluctuations were stripped out.

Altice Group CEO Michel Combes said solid work on efficiency targets helped power the performance.

He added: "Our progress in the second quarter of 2017 shows the Altice vision of convergence really taking shape. Our extensive
deployment of fibre and super fast mobile broadband networks, innovations from Altice Labs, investment in content and monetisation of digital and TV advertising is driving Altice’s growth at increasingly higher levels of efficiency."

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