Aug. 2, 2018, 2:38 a.m. EDT

Altice earnings top views; sees crimp to cash flow

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By Adam Clark

Altice Europe N.V. (ATC.AE) said Thursday that it beat earnings forecasts and achieved good customer growth in France in the second quarter, but said acquisition costs would limit its cash flow.

The Netherlands-listed telecom operator said its adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization came to 1.32 billion euros ($1.54 billion) for the quarter.

Analysts had forecast adjusted Ebitda of EUR1.30 billion according to company-provided consensus.

Consolidated revenue came to EUR3.48 billion. Altice said on a constant-currency basis, revenue was down 3.8% from the year-earlier quarter.

In France, Altice said it achieved "exceptional" customer acquisition. Its business-to-consumer fixed base division added a net 13,000 customers. Its French consumer mobile postpaid base grew by a net 211,000.

However, Altice said its French unit is generating higher acquisition costs and capital spending, meaning it will likely end 2018 at the lower end of its EUR1.5 billion to EUR1.6 billion operating free cash flow guidance. For the company as a whole, Altice said it expects to generate annual free cash of between EUR2.3 billion and EUR2.5 billion, excluding its television segment.

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