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Earnings: 3 UK Sales Up After Skype Promo

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Hutchison Whampoa’s mobile carrier 3 posted two percent better January-to-June revenue than last year of £784 million from the UK and Ireland, after attracting four percent more customers during the period, up to 5.59 million. But average revenue per customer plummeted 13 percent to £29.36 on price competition and a European Commission order to cut roaming and termination rates.

The company has been heavily marketing “free” Skype-to-Skype calls over its data network and was this week reported to be negotiating with Spotify to carrier the unlimited music streaming service. Hutch chair Li Ka-shing’s foundation, which previously invested in Joost, is rumoured to be a Spotify investor.

Across other territories, 3 slimmed its January-to-June operating loss by 66 percent from last year, to HK$1,810, after merging its Australian operation with Vodafone’s. The global 3G customer base grew 25 percent to 25.3 million after the deal, but average revenue per customer dipped 11 percent to