Meteor subscribers up 11pc

5 May 2005

Ireland’s third-ranked mobile operator Meteor saw its subscriber base rise by almost 11pc during the first fiscal quarter of 2005.

The operator added 37,000 customers during the period, taking to 376,600 its total number of customers. Virtually all of Meteor’s customers are prepaid.

At group level, Meteor’s parent Western Wireless Corporation reported consolidated total revenues of US$520m for the first quarter of 2005, an increase of 17pc over the first quarter of 2004. Consolidated net income for the quarter was US$5m, or five cents per diluted share. This compares to net income of US$36m, or US$0.37 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2004.

Commenting on the results, John Stanton, chairman and CEO of Western Wireless, stated that Western Wireless International, which consists of six operating units outside North America including Ireland, had enjoyed its best year yet with quarterly adjusted EBITDA — a commonly used measure of profitability — the highest in its history: almost doubling to US$75m in Q1 2005 from US$38m in Q1 2004. Stanton also confirmed that the US$6bn acquisition of Western Wireless by Alltel, announced in January, was on track to close in the summer.

By Brian Skelly