Three UK sees 48% rise in profits for 2013

As Three transfers all its customers to its 4G network at no extra charge, the mobile operator reports full-year profits of £417m

Three UK today reported full-year 2013 profits of £417m, confirming it now has almost eight million customers on its books.

The £417m Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) figure was a 48% rise on its results from 2012, which, when £210m of depreciation and amortisation was taken out of the equation, actually saw earnings more than double.   

Revenues for the mobile operator were up 5% over the 12-month period to £2.04bn, including a 2% rise in customer service revenue and a 10% rise in handset revenue.

“In 2013, Three became a bigger and more profitable business, driven by a focus on giving customers what they want,” said Richard Woodward, chief financial officer at Three.

“With revenue topping £2bn, costs falling and operating profit doubling, Three is delivering consistent, profitable growth in all areas.”

The results came as Three confirmed it had moved all of its customers onto 4G tariffs in the three months since its roll-out began, although they will need to have a 4G-ready device to benefit – Three claims around 1.7 million customers fall into this bracket.

Three is the only mobile operator to do this at no extra charge to their users, unlike rivals which have put a premium on the faster data services. The operator said it was already live in 36 large towns and cities – including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Reading and Liverpool – and was on track to reach 50 cities and more than 200 towns by the end of 2014. Its overall goal is to provide 4G coverage to 98% of the population by the end of 2015.

Dave Dyson, CEO of Three, said: “In 2013, we challenged the market with a series of innovative initiatives – we abolished roaming charges in 11 countries, we launched a ground breaking pay-as-you-go tariff and we cemented our market leadership on data by continuing to strengthen our network and committing to give our customers 4G at no extra cost.

“In 2014, we will continue to innovate and put customer needs at the heart of our decision-making.”

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