EE revenue down as BT takeover looms

EE logo Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption BT has agreed to buy EE

EE, the UK's biggest mobile phone operator, saw its operating revenue fall 1.1% to £1.469bn in the first quarter.

The drop follows a 1.4% decline in operating revenue in 2014.

BT is due to acquire EE as soon as the £12.5bn deal receives regulatory approval. BT will buy all of Orange and Deutsche Telekom's EE shares.

EE has 31 million customers, of whom 24.5 million are direct mobile customers.

EE has focused on expanding its 4G coverage across Europe and is now the continent's largest 4G operator.

The company added 1.7 million 4G customers in the first three months of the year.

EE has 9.3 million 4G customers and is "firmly on track to reach our target of 14 million 4G customers by year-end," said EE in a statement.

Both EE and BT customers will benefit from the takeover, according to EE boss Olaf Swantee.

"Customers will be able to get better deals because when they can buy four products, instead of one or two, from the same company they will get significantly better deals," said Mr Swantee.

He added that EE had employed 1,000 more call centre staff in the UK in the first quarter of the year, in an effort to improve customer service.

It is unclear whether EE will be rebranded after the takeover. Both brands "have a lot of power in the UK market today", said Mr Swantee.

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