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Three UK publish 2021 results

The UK network Three have posted their results for 2021, and whilst you can read all the results further down the page, there are some key points to shout about.

First of all their 5G rollout is making massive gains with over 370 towns and cities live, over 2500 sites have been upgraded to the new technology which now covers 1/3 of the UK population.

Not only that but the network has continued to impress by winning awards as the UK fastest 5G network by Ookla, a popular Speedtest service across the world.

Mobile data use per customer has also increased, with the average customer now using 19GB, up from 15.8GB the year before.

Other impressive results include the strongest addition of contract customers since 2012 as well as adding figures to their B2B, Home Broadband base as well as virtual network SMARTY who recently launched 5G services.

Three+ the new rewards app is now live giving customers discounts to some great products including 20% off Uber Eats each week.

All these results whilst also moving the head office from Maidenhead into a brand new site at Reading offering future proofing for even more growth in the future.

All the information including financial updates can be found below if you wanted to see all the news

Three UK delivers strongest consumer contract customer additions since 2012 and 10% increase in EBITDA; with incremental growth in SMARTY, Home Broadband and B2B

At Three UK our mission is to provide better connectivity, every day, for every customer. The strategy to deliver this is centred on three key pillars: delivering growth, enhancing customer experience and increasing our brand awareness and appeal. All supported by an engaging, inclusive and ambitious culture.

Deliver Growth

  • Revenue up 4% to £2.44bn underpinned by a strong performance in Consumer Contract, as well as new revenue streams such as SMARTY, Home Broadband and Business
  • EBITDA up by 10% YOY to £609m (2020: £553m) due to an increase in margin supported by new lines of business (B2B & SMARTY), a record year for wholesale, coupled with a continued focus on cost efficiencies
  • Active contract customer base up 7% YOY, adding more than half a million subscribers to bring total to 8m; 2021 net adds were the highest since 2012
  • Handset revenue up 13% to £772m (2020: £682m) reflecting growth in customer base coupled with average handset price growth
  • Registered contract churn fell 7% from 1.4% to 1.3%, due to a focus on execution and retention programmes
  • B2B base doubled in size across the year; further growth to be supported by completion of multi-million pound investment in first phase of digital transformation
  • Capex of £784m (2020: £764m) as a result of ongoing investment in the network and digital transformation
  • £280m spend on low frequency spectrum improving our market leading 5G spectrum portfolio meaning customers are able to benefit from an outstanding experience now and over the longer term

Enhanced customer experience and broadened brand awareness

  • Average data usage per customer, per month increased 20% to 19GB in December 2021 (15.8GB)
  • 5G coverage of more than 1/3rd of UK population across 370 towns and cities with more than 2500 sites live
  • Three UK now covers 99% of the UK outdoor population with its combined 3G and 4G network and carries 28% of mobile data traffic in the country (source: Enders UK Mobile Market Q321). We are committed to investing in the network as we continue to rollout our 5G network
  • Fastest 5G network in the UK throughout 2021, according to Ookla and Awarded Best Network for Data at 2022 uSwitch Awards.
  • The largest, dedicated 5G spectrum, meaning customers will benefit from an outstanding experience, particularly indoors
  • Major agreement with BAI Communications to become launch partner for 4G and 5G on the London Underground
  • New network technology implemented amongst a host of measures introduced to combat fraud, leading to a 90% reduction in SPAM texts on the Three UK network
  • Continuing successful sponsorship of Channel 4’s Gogglebox, the largest ever TV sponsorship in Three’s history – 48% of UK adult population tuned in 2021
  • Launch of customer rewards app, Three+, offering fantastic perks to our customers such as priority festival tickets and Uber Eats discounts.

Engaging, inclusive and ambitious culture

  • Awarded inflation-busting pay increases of up to 12.6% for retail staff depending on location
  • Fit out of new, modern office completed at Green Park, Reading; employees have returned to the office working in a new hybrid approach (part home, part office)
  • Three UK awarded Investors in Diversity award by the National Centre for Diversity
  • Enhanced training providing to all people managers

Robert Finnegan, Chief Executive of Three UK, said:

“I am really pleased with this set of results which have delivered our strongest customer contract growth since 2012. We are also seeing strong performance in new areas of our business including SMARTY, B2B and Home Broadband. 

“The foundations of this are the enhancements to our network with 5G now covering more than a third of the UK’s population and rated as the fastest by Ookla, alongside a focus on improvements to customer experience.

“These enhancements are being supported by our highest ever levels of investment and are testament to the hard work of our staff and their efforts throughout a challenging 2021

“However, the UK market with 4 operators continues to remain dysfunctional and requires a structural change to improve the overall quality of infrastructure that UK customers should expect.”

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