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Merged mobile phone giant suffers drop in revenue

By Jamie Grierson

The company behind merged mobile phone giants Orange and T-Mobile has posted a drop in sales and earnings in its first annual results.

Everything Everywhere, which was formed last year, said underlying earnings were hit by regulation costs and investment in customer contract growth.

Having announced in September that it was cutting 7.5% of its 16,000 strong workforce, the firm said turnover in the nine months to December 31 was £5.3bn, down from £5.4bn in the same period a year earlier. Underlying earnings were £1bn, down from £1.1bn.

But Everything Everywhere said it was on track to achieve the goals it set out when the merger was formed, including hitting its synergies target of £3.5bn.

Everything Everywhere, owned jointly by Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom, has more than 27m customers in the UK and more than 720 retail stores.

The Hertfordshire-based firm offers customers a joint-roaming deal that allows users the benefits of both the Orange and T-Mobile networks.

The company said it added 300,000 to its contracted customer base in the three months to December 31 and 752,000 over the nine-month period, up 33% on a year earlier.

Chief executive Tom Alexander said: "2010 has been a year of achievement for Everything Everywhere.

"We improved retention and growth on our contract customer base."

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