O2 ups revs and punters

Churn down

O2 - which has agreed to the acquired by Spain's Telefonica for £18bn - continues to attract new punters to its service, helping it post increased revenues for the six months to September.

The UK-based cellco's total number of customers stood at 25.7m - up 17 per cent compared to last year - thanks in part to a 34 per cent jump in numbers in Germany. But customer numbers were also buoyed by O2's ability to hold onto existing punters and stop them from switching cellcos.

Over the same period turnover grew 12 per cent to £3.6bn from £3.2bn with H1 pre-tax profits climbing to £357m from £339m.

According to analysts Ovum, these results will be "of more interest to Telefonica and its shareholders, than to O2 shareholders".

"The results demonstrate continuing good progress by O2 in its three country markets (UK, Germany, Ireland).

"Looking ahead, O2 expects growth of its UK business to be in the 6-9% range for the year with a stable EBITDA (earnings before interest etc) margin, while growth in its German business will continue to be 'strong'", said analysts.

By mid morning shares in O2 were up a smidgen (0.25p) at 195.75p. ®

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