O2 adds almost one million contract customers in 2012


Operator also makes nearly 100,000 prepay additions in Q4 as revenue decline continues to slow

O2 added 961,000 contract customers in 2012 – more than double the amount it added the previous year and its highest for three years.

Over the year, O2’s total base increased four per cent year-on-year to 23.8 million. It’s mobile customer base grew three per cent from 2011 to stand at 22.9 million, mainly driven by year-on-year growth in its contract base of nine per cent.

In Q4 alone, the operator added 282,000 contract customers, up 61 per cent from the same three month period in 2011. This compares to the 206,000 contract customers it added in Q3. O2’s contract base now represents 52 per cent of its total mobile customer base, up 2.7 per cent year-on-year.

O2 added 99,000 prepay customers in the quarter, the highest number of quarterly prepay additions for two years.

Total mobile additions for the year totalled 697,000 compared to -45,000 in 2011 and 381,000 in Q4 against a 47,000 loss in the same period the previous year.

Operating income continued to show quarterly improvement and for Q4 was £332 million, down 8.7 per cent year-on-year, which compares to a decrease of 10.2 per cent from the previous quarter, -20.3 per cent in Q2 and -33.2 per cent in Q1.

Revenue for the year was £5.709 million, down five per cent year-on-year or 1.5 per cent excluding the regulatory impact.

In Q4, revenue was £1.460 million, down 3.2 per cent from Q4 2011. O2 said that excluding the regulatory impact from mobile termination rate and roaming cuts, total revenue would have declined by just 0.1 per cent.

Contract churn in 2012 was down 0.2 per cent to one per cent in 2012 and fell 0.1 per cent year-on-year to stand at 1.1 per cent for the fourth quarter. Prepay churn stood at 3.8 per cent in the quarter, down one per cent from the same period in 2011.

O2 UK CEO Ronan Dunne said: “This is a strong set of results which reflect the positive action we took at the beginning of 2012 to regain and build our commercial momentum. We’re changing our business to be truly digital and in 2013 will be focusing on delivering more digital services for our customers to make their lives easier.”