O2 added more than 300,000 new customers during the summer, with underlying profits and sales increasing.
Parent company Telefónica reported its third quarter results this morning for the three months until the end of September. Of the 303,000 new customers it added during the quarter, 219,000 were on contract, an increase of 6% on 2012.The operator continued to be hit by the effects of regulation and roaming. Mobile service revenue for the quarter was £1.17bn, down 11.9% on the previous year. On a like for like basis, it would have fallen by 0.9%. Profits were £374m, down 3.5% on the previous year but up 3.7% on an underlying basis. The operator's margin was 25.5%, up a fifth of a percentage point on 2012.
O2 said 53% of its new contract customers were signing up to its O2 Refresh proposition, which allows consumers to change their device whenever they wish. Contract churn stayed below 1% for the third quarter in a row. The operator did not reveal its 4G figures but said its next generation service was covering a quarter of the UK's population, with Edinburgh, Newcastle, Huddersfield and Wetherby next in line to receive it.
Ronan Dunne CEO for O2 UK said: '2013 has been our year of returning to growth and this has been another solid quarter for us. O2 Refresh is helping drive trading momentum and we are a month and a half ahead of our 4G rollout target. These latest results show that more and more customers are choosing to join and stay with us every day.'
Author: Graeme Neill