Mobile network operator 3 Ireland has announced that it reached EBITDA break-even point in H1 2013 – the first time it has done so in its eight year history. The announcement comes as 3 Ireland’s parent company, Hutchison Whampoa Limited (HWL), published its results for the first half of 2013 showing that the Irish unit grew its ‘active’ customer base by almost 18% from 431,000 to 508,000 in the year to 30 June 2013. The cellco’s chief executive officer Robert Finnegan said the interim figures highlight the progress his company is making in the domestic mobile market. ‘The milestone of EBITDA break-even is an important achievement for the business,’ he said. 3 Ireland has doubled its business in the past two years, and now expects to take that recent growth trend on going forward.
In March this year the carrier booked full-year revenues of EUR174 million (USD230.6 million) for 2012, up 16% year-on-year, and saw its mobile market share climb by 1.3 percentage points to 9%. It also reported a 30% reduction in FY2012 losses to EUR19 million. Its latest results for H1 2013 show an EBITDA break-even figure, compared to a loss of EUR15 million in the corresponding year-earlier period.
Further, the news comes as 3 Ireland looks to complete its ambitious takeover of Telefonica’s O2 Ireland business. In June this year 3 Ireland entered into an agreement with the Spanish firm to acquire O2 Ireland for EUR780 million with an additional deferred payment of EUR70 million payable dependent upon achievement of agreed financial targets. The completion of this transaction is subject to competition approval by the relevant regulatory authority.