Over a quarter of a million customers chose one of our mobile phone contracts in the first quarter of 2013.

That’s our highest number in the first quarter for 4 years.

251 thousand customers chose an O2 mobile phone contract between 1st January and 31st March. That’s nine percent more than the same period last year and the highest number of contract customers to have joined O2 in the first quarter period for 4 years.

Our financial results issued today by our parent company Telefónica show that we continue to grow strongly in the UK and retain more customers than our rivals despite an extremely competitive market.

The results also show that 93% of those contract customers who joined us in the first quarter chose a smartphone reflecting the huge appetite for the latest handsets and the features and capabilities they provide to help people manage their lives.

Our recent launch of O2 Refresh recognises this Smartphone enthusiasm by giving customers the opportunity to get a new phone when they want, without having to pay out their airtime contract. Launched in April, O2 Refresh is proving extremely popular with nine out of ten new customers choosing it in O2 retail stores instead of other pay monthly deals.

O2 Refresh has been designed for customers to get a new phone at any time, without having to pay out their airtime contract. Instead, customers simply pay the remaining balance for their phone and then start afresh.

With 4G coming to O2 this summer, we want to make it easier for our customers to benefit from the latest technology. For the first time in the UK, O2 Refresh makes it possible to get a new phone part way through a pay monthly contract, at any time – quickly, easily and cost-effectively.