Meteor adds an extra 18,600 mobile users

24 Oct 2003

In its latest financial results, Western Wireless International has revealed that its Meteor Communications subsidiary in Ireland chalked up an additional 18,600 mobile customers during its third quarter, ending the quarter with 156,000 mobile customers.

The figures are consistent with plans by the company to boost its Irish market share to 6pc by the end of this year and 10pc by the end of 2004. At a briefing in Dublin recently, Stewart Sheriff, CEO of the Irish operation, said that the company turned out to be the only one of three mobile operators in Ireland to boast a net gain as a result of the introduction of number portability during the summer.

Western Wireless International president Brad Horowitz last month said that the company plans to plough US$40m into Meteor Communications because it believes that Ireland represents its best opportunity for growth in 2004.

The chairman of Western Wireless Corporation, John Stanton, today said that the company reported an outstanding third quarter in terms of solid revenue growth. “We took a number of important steps that have allowed us to reduce debt and improve our capital structure, and we now support GSM services in selected markets as we continue our GSM overlay. We are well positioned to meet our financial goals for 2003,” Stanton said.

In the third quarter Western Wireless reported total revenues of US$401m, up 31pc on last year.

Total mobile customers for Western Wireless International’s six consolidated businesses, including Meteor, surpassed one million during the third quarter. Total revenue for Western Wireless International’s six businesses was US$140.8m, an increase of 81pc over the previous year. The company made a loss due to clearing a debt of $4.3m.

By John Kennedy