Three reported good growth in the first six months of 2014 despite handset sales falling by 12 percent.

European revenues grew three percent year-on-year to €3 billion even though sales in the UK, the group’s largest market, fell three percent.

Handset revenues in the UK fell by a quarter, but were offset by net customer service revenue growing eight percent.

There were falls in Italy (down nine percent) and Austria (down seven percent). However, there was impressive revenue growth in Denmark (up eight percent), Ireland (up 11 percent) and Sweden (up 13 percent).

The operator’s overall customer base was up one percent to 26.9 million. There was growth in all six countries in which Three operates, with Ireland the top performer.

The active user base – defined as those who have generated revenue from a phone call or data/content service in the preceding three months – also increased.

Menawhile, EBITDA rose 15 percent to €624 million despite ARPU falling by two percent.

Last month, Three Ireland has sealed its multi-million euro takeover of O2 Ireland from Spanish group Telefónica, making it the second biggest telecoms provider in the country.

Three owner Hutchison Whampoa said the new combined entity is expected to provide “a meaningful contribution” to the group’s revenues next year.

It added that it expects all of Europe to continue to perform well in the second half of the year thanks to continued improvements in the UK and the realisation of additional cost synergies in Austria.

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