O2 CFO warns competitors: ‘We are not going away’

O2 CFO warns competitors: ‘We are not going away’

CFO Mark Evans has told Mobile that O2 will not ‘go quietly’ as Hutchison Whampoa’s potential takeover draws closer.

The network’s Q1 financial results for 2015 showed its customer base up to 24.6m after generating 138,000 adds, with CEO Ronan Dunne claiming: ‘We said that we would compete fiercely and we continue to do that; overall it has been a very business-as-usual quarter for us despite the M&A conversation.
‘Hopefully what people will see is that whatever we’re doing, the one thing we won’t be is inward focused. We’ll be focused on the customer side of things and any of our competitors who think we will be distracted will be disappointed.’ 

Mark Evans, CFO at O2, added: ‘I have no doubt that our competition thought we would just go quietly but actually our people feel very passionate about what they do and they obviously love working for a willing organisation. We will be impossible to ignore, we’re not going away.’

O2 claims that it is continuing to win customers in a competitive market place due to its refresh tariff, with Evans explaining that it gives customers the choice to re-invest in new technology. He said: ‘We give customers real transparency so they know what they are paying for. What you should be doing is what is right for the customer and if you do that, you will end up with more customers and a healthy business.’
O2’s financial results were released in the same week that TalkTalk’s Q1 results showed a boost in its mobile customer base, fuelled by quad play demand. However, while TalkTalk has shown that there is a market for quad play, O2 claims that the only way for it is mobile. 

I think that the key here is that we have never struck a (quad play) strategy’, said Dunne. ‘We have to be right and the only way is mobile. What we did was make a very clear decision to say that we would differentiate through our innovation and delivery of our best-in-class mobile services.

‘Rather than be a second-class or third-class citizen in providing broadband, fixed line or TV, we do wholesale deals with the people who we thought would have relevant offerings in the market. This is why we have struck a deal with Sky, so I think it’s fair to describe that as a hedge on the market place.’ 

He added: ‘We were not going to partner with everybody, and by choosing the partners we have, I think that whatever way the market plays out, we will participate. Our primary focus is our mobile play, and if we do that a large numbers of customers can find the best products, rather than simply accept a bundle where they may have to take second best. And we know that the best offering for mobile is available directly.’


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