Three Ireland breaks even – 18pc increase in active customer base

1 Aug 2013

Pictured: Three Ireland CEO Robert Finnegan

Mobile operator Three Ireland has achieved EBITDA break-even for the first time, the company said in its half-yearly results, largely driven by an 18pc increase in active customers from 431,000 to 508,000 subscribers. Revenues were €87m at the end of June, up 5pc from €83m a year ago.

The news comes just after its parent company Hutchison Whampoa acquired O2 Ireland from Telefónica for €780m (plus a deferred payment of €70m).

Three, which launched in Ireland in 2005, has invested over €800m in building out its Irish network and was one of the recipients of 4G licenses from ComReg in November following an auction process that netted €850m for the Exchequer.

The operator’s mobile network covers 99.5pc of the Irish population for voice and text and 97pc for mobile broadband.

The EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation) break-even compares with a loss of €15m last year.

Three Ireland CEO Robert Finnegan said the break-even is an important achievement for the company.

“Coupled with our continued growth in market share in a stagnant market, this reflects our commitment to offering value and innovation to our customers, which is ultimately giving us the edge over our competitors,” Finnegan said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years