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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 July, 2004, 09:09 GMT 10:09 UK
UK growth propels MMO2 revenues
Woman using mobile phone
UK customers are spending more
Mobile phone operator MMO2 has raised its UK revenue forecasts after enjoying stronger-than-expected customer growth in the April to June period.

The firm said 603,000 customers were added over the quarter, beating analysts' expectations.

A big rise in UK user numbers led to MMO2 lifting this year's UK revenue growth forecast to 7-10%, compared with its previous forecast of 5-8%.

MMO2 is Europe's sixth-largest mobile phone operator with 21.3 million users.

In February this year, the firm rebuffed a takeover approach from Dutch rival KPN.


The mobile phone market in the UK is fiercely competitive and Hutchison's 3 business has been piling on the pressure in recent months with aggressive pricing plans.

But MMO2 said it had added 261,000 new customers in the UK over the quarter - with more than half of these being higher-paying contract customers.

The success was put down to more spending on marketing and a successful campaign to win business from small to medium-sized firms.

Among UK contract customers, average revenue per user (ARPU) - a key measure for mobile firms - rose to 537 ($993m; 805 euros) a year, up from 525 the previous quarter.

Overall ARPU in the UK rose to 279 - up from 272 in the previous quarter and 25 higher than the same period last year.

In Germany - MMO2's other main market - it added 336,000 customers, with ARPU up to 367 euros (245) - up from 366 euros in the January to March period.

However, in Ireland ARPU fell to 556 euros, from 559 euros the previous quarter.

MMO2 said that data services - such as photo messaging - now account for 20.9% of service revenues, although the bulk of these are still generated by simple text messages.

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