Everything Everywhere CEO calls brand 'silly,' but analysts praise Q3 results

Speaking prior to announcing the third-quarter results for Everything Everywhere (EE) CEO Olaf Swantee took the opportunity to criticise the company's brand name.


Despite a growing number of its UK shops starting to use the EE branding, Swantee told the Daily Telegraph: "Everything Everywhere is not a brand, it's a silly name with a stopping effect." He said that Orange UK and T-Mobile UK, which merged to form EE, need to improve their customer service to levels so far not seen in the UK. "You can't just say [to your staff], 'sell,'" he said. "To create the number one operator in customer loyalty every department needs to have objectives relating to that. I think we are at the start of that in telecoms."

While it remains unclear how EE will alter its branding, the third-quarter performance for the UK's largest mobile operator was praised by industry analysts for demonstrating stability after a series of uneven quarters, Will Draper, an analyst at Espirito Santo, a London-based investment bank, told the Financial Times that the declining rate at which EE was losing customers is evidence that the company is becoming more stable, and that the addition of 185,000 long-term contract subscribers is encouraging.

These factors, according to Draper, helped EE boost service revenues by 3.8 per cent, after the effects of the regulatory change, like MTR, was removed. The analyst noted, that Swantee had made a solid start.

"He's knocked a lot of heads together," said Draper. "Everyone's revenue is declining because of the mobile termination rate (MTR) cut ... but you'd expect Everything Everywhere to return to revenue growth in 2012. That's a year earlier than we'd expected."

Commenting on the results, Swantee said that they were "in line with our current expectations."

"The success we've had adding nearly 900,000 post-paid customers in the last year is helping to drive underlying service revenue growth," he said. "I am particularly pleased that we are attracting high numbers of new smartphone customers and have the lowest customer churn in the industry.:

EE also pointed to the progress being made with cutting costs and said it was on track to make at least £3.5 billion in synergy savings by 2014.

Separately, EE held informal discussions with the European Commission (EC) over its obligation to sell a 2x15MHz block of its spectrum. The company, which is obliged to return the spectrum in return for the EC approving the Orange/T-Mobile merger, is attempting to find a route out of its commitment.

For more:
- see this Financial Times article (sub. req.)
- see this Daily Telegraph article
- see this Mobile Today article

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