US mobile operator AT&T Wireless has announced a 12.5% rise in Q1 revenues compared to the same quarter last year, to reach $3.61 billion. It also added 650,000 new subscribers during Q1.
AT&T Wireless shares rose as much as 10% on the news, as Wall Street had expected more like $3.49 billion and 550,000 new subscribers. The company’s net loss was 7 cents per share due to accounting changes, while operating loss was just 1 cent a share compared with expectations of 3 cents. The company reaffirmed its 2002 full year targets.
But despite all this positive news, there was a 5.8% fall in revenues per user. To some extent, this is an inevitable consequence of building a mass audience – but AT&T Wireless should learn from European firms that chased customers without keeping an eye on the balance sheet.