O2 records 13pc revenue rise

17 Nov 2004

O2 Ireland has seen total revenues for the six months to 30 September 2004 reach €418 million, an increase of 13pc on the corresponding period last year.

On the profit side, EBITDA grew to €159m from €147m in the corresponding period last year and the EBITDA margin stood at 37.9pc.

The second largest network operator in Ireland now has 1.425 million subscribers, a year-on-year increase of 150,000 customers, or 12pc.

Irish customers increased their voice usage on the O2 network during the first six months to 203 minutes per month, up 11 minutes from the 192 minutes to end September 2003. This compares with 131 minutes for an O2 UK customer and 120 minutes per German customer.

Text message traffic rose by 16pc to 644 million from 555 million in the previous year, while overall data revenue as a percentage of service revenue rose sharply from 17.3pc to 20.4pc during the six months. Data average revenue per user (ARPU) on a 12-month rolling basis increased to €119 from €110 in the same period last year.

For the three-month period, July to September 2004, blended ARPU increased to €560 per year compared to €551 per year in the same period last year. According to the company, this was driven by an increase in the number of business customers joining the O2 network. Pre-pay ARPU grew to €360 per year from €349 per year in the same period last year and post-pay ARPU grew to €1,078 from €1,037 last year.

A total of 30,000 net new customers were added during the quarter: 25,000 pre-pay and 5,000 post-pay.

Commenting on the results, Danuta Gray, chief executive, O2 Ireland said: “We are particularly pleased that we continue to gain customers in a fiercely competitive market with mobile penetration now at 89pc. In the past 12 months, we have added 150,000 customers to the O2 network.”

She added: “As demonstrated by our performance, the Irish mobile market continues to grow while at the same time is highly innovative, competitive and dynamic. Our commitment to investment – currently standing at €4 million per week – will continue as long as the business environment here allows us to make a return on that investment. We remain as committed as ever in terms of ongoing investment and innovation and particularly in offering value for money to our customers.”

By Brian Skelly