O2 Ireland increases infrastructure spend

14 Nov 2005

Ireland’s second-largest mobile operator O2 today revealed its revenues grew 14pc to €475m for the six months leading up to the end of September. The company also revealed that it grew capital expenditure by 32pc to €80m for the half year.

In a period that saw the company introduce its anticipated I-Mode high-speed mobile internet access service, the company said earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) – a standard barometer for progress in the telecoms sector – grew 11pc from the same period last year to €177m.

O2 CEO Danuta Gray commented: “The O2 Ireland business continues to deliver a strong performance driven by our commitment to ongoing innovation, increased investment and value for money. Our exceptional customer growth and increased levels of usage across both voice and data has been underpinned by a significant increase in our capital expenditure compared to the first half of last year. We continue to innovate in the market and the launch of our high-speed mobile internet access service I-Mode in October this year is set to transform Ireland’s performance in this vital area.”

The company said it saw an average of 20pc reduction on customer spend as a result of new consumer price plans launched in September.

O2 Ireland – which along with the rest of the O2 Group is in the process of being acquired by Telefonica for €26bn – said its total customer base grew by 10pc from 1.45m customers in September of last year to reach 1.57 million customers.

Data as a percentage of ARPU (average revenue per user) grew from 20pc last year to 22pc this year.

Without revealing ARPU for the past six months, O2 focused on blended ARPU for the last quarter, revealing it increased to €572 per year from €560 a year ago.

Prepay rolling ARPU it said “remained steady” at €359 per year, compared with €360 last year, while postpay ARPU grew from €1,078 to €1,155.

The company said it will reduce the mobile termination rate it charges to other operators to terminate on the O2 network, by 8pc from 1 January next.

By John Kennedy