Three Ireland reports dip in revenues as customer numbers rise

Full-year revenues down 2% but earnings up 3% as customer base jumps to 2.6 million

Three chief executive Robert Finnegan: “Three was the first mobile operator in Ireland to roll out 5G in every county to both bill pay and prepay customers in 2020, adapting during the pandemic to meet increased demand in suburban and rural areas.”

Three chief executive Robert Finnegan: “Three was the first mobile operator in Ireland to roll out 5G in every county to both bill pay and prepay customers in 2020, adapting during the pandemic to meet increased demand in suburban and rural areas.”

 

Three Ireland has reported a 2 per cent decline in full-year revenues for 2020, although earnings rose on the back of an increase in customers.

The telco posted turnover of €593 million, compared to €603 million a year earlier.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (ebitda) increased 3 per cent to €217 million from €211 million, despite what the company described as a “challenging environment”.

Ebitda was up 3 per cent in the first half versus 2019 but declined 2 per cent in the second due primarily to lower revenues from roaming.

Average revenue per active user rose 1 per cent over the year.

The company reported a gross margin reduction of 1 per cent to €44 8 million from €454 million although this was offset by a 4 per cent decline in operating costs of €9 million to €229 million.

Three’s total active customer base increased 8 per cent over the year to 2.6 million from 2.4 million, bringing its total market share up to 36.7 per cent. This growth was across Three’s customer base and for bill pay customers the increase was from the Internet of Things and handset products, it said.

Network investment

Three said it invested €103 million in its network last year, bringing the total amount the company has spent on it since 2015 to €550 million.

“Despite the difficult environment, Three was the first mobile operator in Ireland to roll out 5G in every county to both bill pay and prepay customers in 2020, adapting during the pandemic to meet increased demand in suburban and rural areas,” said chief executive Robert Finnegan.

Three’s parent, CK Hutchison, has pumped some €780 million of equity into the Irish business.

The parent on Thursday announced a 27 per cent decline in full-year profit for 2020 – its first since 2015 – due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It reported a net income of HK$29.1 billion (€3.1 billion), compared with HK$39.8 billion in 2019.

Total revenue fell 8 per cent to HK$403.85 billion.