UK Mobile Company O2 Reports Strong Growth

By JANE WARDELL AP Business Writer

LONDON (AP) -- British telecommunications company O2 PLC on Monday reported strong growth in customer numbers and a higher profit in its final set of interim results as an independent company.

O2 last month agreed to an 18 billion pound ($31.5 billion) takeover by Telefonica SA, the Spanish telecom powerhouse that has been expanding in Latin America and Eastern Europe.

In line with takeover rules, O2 did not comment on the progress of the offer Monday, but did confirm that it had not received any rival bids since the Telefonica offer was announced.

O2 said its profit in the six months to Sept. 30 increased 4.2 percent to 350 million pounds ($611.8 million) from 336 million pounds. Revenue increased 12 percent to 3.6 billion pounds ($6.3 billion) from 3.2 billion pounds.

The company also said that it increased its customer base 17 percent to 25.7 million from 22 million a year ago.


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