Friday saw Telefónica Europe, better known under their O2 branding, release their financial results for year ending 31st December 2009. Telefónica Europe run mobile phone businesses in the UK, Germany, Ireland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia with fixed line services also available such as broadband from both O2 and BE in the UK.
The UK operations of O2 saw a 5.1% increase year-on-year of its mobile customer base, reaching 21.3 million lines, a net addition of around 1 million users. Traffic grew by 15.6% over the period with a total of 53,856 million minutes. Average revenue per user (ARPU) for voice calls decreased 8.7% year-on-year (10.5% in the 4th quarter) which was largely due to mobile termination rate cuts and the adoption of unlimited tariffs. Data revenue did increase by 3.7% however.
Fixed line broadband services which come under both the O2 and BE brands added 250,648 lines in 2009, a 73.5% year-on-year increase. Total broadband customers at the end of December totalled 591,514, so should now be well in to the 600,000's. 64,388 of these lines were added in Q4 2009, and this year is expected to show continued growth with "O2 Home Phone" launching in Spring which will compliment the fixed-broadband offering with a competitive voice package.
"In the United Kingdom, Telefónica O2 UK defied a shrinking market, reporting strong financial results and gaining share in 2009 through a consistent approach to our core mobile business while expanding into new areas. This positive evolution was mainly due to our unwavering commitment to putting our customers at the heart of everything we do - reflected in our industry-leading rates of churn. Increased commercial activity on a wide range of devices, with a particular focus on smartphones, was also a significant driver of growth in the year. In 2009 we sold our two millionth iPhone in the UK, which continues to sell extremely well along with our wide range of other smartphones. Data revenues increased 52 per cent year-on-year in local currency, with the strong contribution from mobile internet user growth. Our total mobile customer base was up 5.1 per cent to 21.3 million (excluding Tesco Mobile) at the end of December. The contract segment continues to drive growth, with 1.1 million additional customers in 2009, and it now makes up nearly half of our total customer base."Matthew Key, (CEO) Telefónica Europe