Three again bangs the merger drum as it publishes Q1 2024 financials 


Mobile operator Three UK has released its financial results for the first quarter of 2024, with revenue growth failing to drag EBITDA-CAPEX out of the red 

This week, Three UK have announced their quarterly results, taking the opportunity to once again promote their potential merger with rival Vodafone. 

The company saw revenue and margin increase by 9%, reaching £664 million and £424 million respectively. 

This was partly driven by more customers joining Three, with active customers increasing by 3% and active contract customers by 6%. 

However, despite more money coming in, the company still struggled to cover all its costs. Economic conditions remain challenging, with Three noting its rising costs and inflation as key factors in keeping its EBITDA less capex negative.  

The company left the quarter with capex losses of £130 million. 

Moving forward, the company has said that it will continue to work on growing its customer base, especially in areas like business services. 

“We have seen a solid start to the year, successfully growing our revenue and margin and adding 6% to our active contract base,” said CEO Robert Finnegan. 

“However, we continue to be impacted by inflationary pressures, and market conditions remain challenging. Our EBITDA-CAPEX remains negative, as it has been since 2020, which is unsustainable long-term.” 

In March, the company released its full year results for 2023, which saw EBITDA of £402 million, down 34% year on year (£612 million in 2022). Here the company also reported a Reported EBIT loss of £117 million, the first loss since 2010.  

Finnegan called this performance unsustainable, saying “the cost of rolling out and maintaining our 5G network, and our commitment to improving connectivity across the UK, has impacted our profitability.” 

Of course, the company used both press releases to plug its pending merger with Vodafone, with Finnegan adding “I believe that merging with Vodafone is vital to give us the required scale to invest, grow and compete to create a best-in-class network for the UK.” 

The deal is currently in the second phase of investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the results of which are expected in September. 

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