Three has more than trebled its operating profit in the first half of this year, with margin almost doubling.
The operator said this growth in Ebitda margin was driven by a blitz on costs and increasing customer numbers. It added 168,000 net new customers during the quarter to the end of June and now has 7.5 million active users on its network, up 10% on 2012. It said high spending smartphone customers were driving the sales although blended ARPU fell 2% to £20.76. Overall direct smartphone contract sales leaped 87% and service revenues were up 0.5% to £667m.
Richard Woodward, Three chief financial officer, said: 'We’ve seen another quarter of sustained and profitable growth, driven by new, high-value smartphone customers and a continued focus on cost efficiency.'We’re attracting more and more customers, but importantly these are very engaged customers, delivering growth to the bottom line.'
Across Three's business in Europe, churn worsened slightly during the past 12 months, from 1.4% to 1.6%. Overall, Three's customer numbers hit 9.2 million. The operator said it also improved its prepay figures year in year. Three recently launched a new prepay plan, offering calls at 3p per minute, texts at 2p and data at 1p per MB. Woodward said: 'We believe the prepay market presents a real opportunity for growth and we’re looking forward to growing our share with the UK’s simplest, clearest and best value prepay offer.'
Author: Graeme Neill