EE revealed turnover fell 3.1 percent year-on-year to €3.7 billion in the first half of 2013, despite the fact it managed to double the number of 4G customers.

Announcing its financial results for the six months to the end of June, EE said service revenues in the first half of the year fell by 4.9 percent to €3.3 billion.

However, EBITDA was up 9.1 percent to €851 million, a margin of 22.9 percent, representing the best margin performance since the formation of the company in 2010.

EE, the only network in the UK to offer customers superfast 4G mobile broadband currently, said its 4G adoption rate has doubled, with 687,000 customers now using the next generation service.

The operator, which said it was "on track" to exceed a target of one million 4G customers by the end of the year, said this service continues to be a "clear market differentiator", benefiting private and public sector corporate customers who are increasingly requiring faster mobile data options.

Crucially, the number of the more profitable post-pay customers rose by 833,000 – they provide six times higher ARPU – as those on pre-pay contracts fell by 671,000.

The number of enterprise customers using 4G reached 2,400, meanwhile, including big names such as IKEA.

Capex was up by a fifth but the operator cut its retail estate by 130 stores.

Olaf Swantee, chief executive officer of EE, commented: "Today's results demonstrate our success in building our new brand and differentiating our network to drive commercial momentum while continuing to deliver cost savings to increase our margin performance."

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