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France's Iliad seeks to revive sales with high-end set-top box

Reuters  |  PARIS 

By Rosemain and Gwenaëlle Barzic

PARIS (Reuters) - Telecom operator unveiled on Tuesday a new high-end set-up box with luxury audio speakers and which it sees reviving sluggish sales in

Iliad's triangle-shaped white box, dubbed Freebox Delta, includes a subscription and Amazon's among its key features, on top of six audio speakers developed by French

The model, which also has improved and data storage, comes eight years after the previous set-top box boosted sales for Iliad, which pioneered offers bundling television, internet and

"Our idea is to offer a product that is unique and adds value to the Freebox we invented several years ago," Iliad's founder and majority-owner told reporters.

Iliad's previous set-top boxes all played the role of cash-cows for the group, helping finance the company's low-cost mobile offers since obtaining a licence in in 2012.

The protracted price war that followed has weighed on mobile revenues and the margins of its rivals Bouygues Telecom, Europe's SFR and

But the fierce competition has now extended to the fixed business and started to bite which lost subscribers in the second and third quarters in its and mobile businesses.

The stock was up by 4 percent at 1408 GMT, reacting positively to the presentation of the new box. It has shed about 36 percent of its value since the start of the year.

The Freebox Delta is offered at 49.99 euros ($57) per month, roughly 10 euros more than the previous version. But the real price tag includes a four-year subscription to the embedded speakers, costing 10 euros more per month.

The new box is therefore about 20 euros more than the average triple-play equivalents offered by Iliad's rivals, including

Yet the added services, which include an alarm system and a camera that detects suspicious movements, are weighing on margins, Niel said.

"We're losing a tiny bit on our margin but this is deliberate and voluntary because this is our DNA and this shows what we're capable of doing," he said.

Niel declined to provide a sales target for the Freebox Delta but confirmed the 2020 target of an operating free cash flow of about 1 billion euros in

($1 = 0.8769 euros)

(Reporting by Rosemain and Gwenaelle Barzic; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Ed Osmond)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, December 04 2018. 20:30 IST