EE marked the end of its time as a standalone UK company by saying it almost doubled the number of 4G subscribers over 2015 to reach its target of 14 million by the end of the year.
The UK-based mobile operator made use of its final full-year results to highlight its successes over the year, before it was swallowed up by BT. The EE brand will be retained -- at least for the time being -- but the mobile network operator will in future function as one of six business lines within the BT group.
EE also said its 4G network now covered more than 95 per cent of the UK population, and noted that its total number of subscribers increased by 1.8 per cent last year to reach 31.5 million.
Operating revenue in full-year 2015 was steady at £6 billion (€7.7 billion/$8.6 billion), but declined slightly by 0.6 per cent including regulatory impact. The company predicted that regulatory pressures will increase through 2016, "with higher spectrum licence fees as well as reduced roaming rates and mobile termination rates all expected to impact financials from 2016 and beyond." Adjusted EBITDA was 12.1 per cent higher at £1.8 billion.
CEO Marc Allera, who succeeded Olaf Swantee on completion of the BT acquisition, described 2015 as "an exceptional year" for EE.
"We met and exceeded 4G targets, won multiple awards for our network performance, and improved our customer satisfaction scores. As part of BT, we're entering the next chapter of EE's journey, and look forward to a phenomenal opportunity to innovate for the benefit of our customers, while continuing to build and enhance the UK's digital infrastructure," Allera said.
BT closed the EE deal in January and unveiled a new structure in February that incorporated the EE consumer mobile operations as one of six lines of business within the group. The mobile operator's business division has been brought into a new BT unit called BT Business and Public Sector, which will also include the existing BT Business and the UK-focused parts of BT Global Services.
EE's wholesale operations have also been separated off into a unit called BT Wholesale and Ventures, which is taking over the existing MVNO relationships formed by EE.
- see the EE results announcement
BT retains EE brand as it unveils new structure
BT's new technology chief to help with EE integration
Report: O2 and Three set to face tough EC conditions for UK merger
BT to close EE deal in January after winning approval from the CMA
Mixed reactions to BT/EE as Three/O2 faces a battle ahead