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mmO2 climbs towards black

Improves on all key metrics

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mm02 is claiming a good set of interims with EBITDA (Earnings before Bad Stuff) achieved in all four countries where it operates a mobile phone network.

The news that O2 is now generating positive EBITDA in Germany, Europe's fiercest market - and where it is weakest - is particularly good news to shareholders.

Group revenue is also growing - up 11.5 per cent in the six months to September 30, 2002 to £2.341m, compared with the first half of 2001. EBITDA was £378m (2001: £135m) but as we all know, EBITDA does not mean profit - post tax loss came in at a weighty £277m, down on 2001's even weighter £387m.

The six months to September 30 saw the O2 customer base grow 8.9 per cent to 18.3m and service revenues climb 16.3 per cent to £2.086bn. Average Revenues Per User(ARPU) and customer churn, two key metrics for the mobile phone networks, improved (i.e higher, lower) in all territories. O2 operates in the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and Ireland. The company's full statement is here here (pdf). ®

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