Today lodged its annual accounts for the year ending December 2009 with sales increasing by approximately 15% to €81m up from €70m, against a backdrop of decline in overall retail sales in the Irish market. The company reduced operating losses by 31% to €39.6m from €57.2m in 2008.
CEO Robert Finnegan stated “In 2009 we invested heavily in building our network and increasing our retail presence to support the growth of the business. With Ireland’s largest high speed network specifically designed for data usage, 3 is well-placed to take advantage of the growth in sales of smartphones and the increasing consumer demand for data on the move. 3’s revenue growth in internet and data services grew by around 60% year on year in 2009 and margin growth has been particularly strong in broadband and the business market. Customer acquisition costs, for example device prices, have also come down. 3’s investment in 2009 was to plan and in line with the business’ current stage of development.
Next year, 3 will see 3 diversify into new markets including “machine to machine” and the wholesale network business with the introduction of MVNOs and MVNEs. Next year, across the industry 3 sees continued declines in traditional voice and text services putting more and more pressure on the old networks and nore focus on internet revenues. Devices that support IP services create increased revenue streams for 3 and the availability of low-end smartphone devices will help drive customer acquisition. 3’s new sponsorship agreement with the FAI will also deliver connections through our club affinity scheme.“
Mr Finnegan continued: “We also reached a number of important business milestones in 2009. 3 is now Ireland’s largest high speed network and continues to be the market leader in mobile broadband. Earlier this year, 3 announced that it would invest several million euros expanding its retail presence in Ireland and creating 90 jobs. The speeds of our network have also increased and we now support speeds of up to 14.4 mbps, this is important as more and more consumers demand smartphones and internet on the move. We are on track to further increase network speeds of up to 21 mbps in Q1 2011.
This month 3 reached the major milestone of completing the 100% enablement criteria of the National Broadband Scheme, on schedule and to budget. What is more important is that many rural communities can now access broadband services for the first time, opening up new growth areas for 3.
Mr Finnegan concluded; “3 Ireland’s 2009 accounts represent a solid performance in a highly competitive marketplace. We are determined to continue to deliver our strategic plan for our shareholder. We will also continue to deliver value to our customers while improving and expanding our product offering as the leading innovator in the mobile space in Ireland”.