Three Ireland cuts losses by over 30% as revenues rise

Mobile communications company Three Ireland slashed its annual losses by over 30% last year, while increasing revenues and market share.

The company, which is owned by Hong Kong- based Hutchison Whampoa, said yesterday that revenues grew 16% to €174m, in 2012, with market share rising from 7.7% to 9%.

Three Ireland’s pre-tax losses amounted to €19m last year down 32% on the previous year.

The company actually broke even on an EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) basis, mainly due to a one-off net gain of €45m on its network sharing agreement with Vodafone.

Last year’s revenue growth, which followed a 53% increase in 2011, was largely driven by higher sales of smartphones and an increasing customer base.

Three Ireland, Vodafone, O2, and Eircom/Meteor spent a combined €855m, last November, on enhanced fourth generation (4G) bandwidths, allowing them to roll-out faster broadband connections and services this year. Three alone spent over €100m on enhancing its product capabilities.

Robert Finnegan, Three Ireland’s chief executive, yesterday called the 2012 performance “solid” in a highly competitive market, “where other operators continue to lose market share”. “Our revenue has gone from €98m in 2010 to €174m in 2012, showing a 78% growth in just two years,” said Mr Finnegan. “While the market is static, our growth is not and in 2013, with the roll-out of 4G, that strong performance will continue.”

Three, which has 22m customers across Europe, has been trading in Ireland since 2005 and is yet to turn a profit here, although its losses have been declining.


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