British mobile network operator (MNO) Three UK has released its financial results for the six months ended 30 June 2021, claiming to have delivered its ‘strongest customer growth since 2017, underpinned by strong demand for Home Broadband and B2B’. In the period under review, the MNO reported that revenues were up 5% year-on-year at GBP1.176 billion (USD1.64 billion), while turnover from its MVNO unit SMARTY increased by 154%, ‘reflecting [the] launch of popular higher data plans during lockdown’. Meanwhile, Three UK’s total margin increased 1% y-o-y to GBP719 million, with capital expenditure (excluding spectrum) rising by 60% to GBP307 million as a result of increased investment in the operator’s network. With regards to its customer base, Three UK confirmed that the number of active contract customers had increased 6% y-o-y, with it adding almost half a million subscribers to bring its total to 7.7 million as of 30 June 2021.
Three UK also offered up a number of operational highlights as part of the announcement of its financial performance. Chief among those was confirmation that its 5G network now covers 30% of the ‘outdoor population’, with the next generation of mobile broadband technology now live in 300 locations across the country via more than 1,600 cell sites. Looking ahead, the MNO has said that an additional 600 sites have been built and are being prepared for ‘go-live’. Meanwhile, 4G connectivity has been enhanced on more than 2,000 sites with the deployment of 1400MHz spectrum delivering extra capacity and speeds for customers.
Commenting on the company’s performance, Robert Finnegan, Three UK’s chief executive, said: ‘I am really pleased with this set of results. We are making good progress on our strategic objectives and our mission of providing better connectivity, every day for every customer … I am particularly encouraged by the growth in our customer numbers which we have delivered despite the ongoing challenging market conditions.’