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Sprint posted a deeper than expected net loss in its most recent quarter, as the company looks to reverse its fortunes in a hotly competitive US mobile phone market.

The company reported a loss of $283m, or 7 cents a share in the quarter, worse than consensus estimates for a loss of four cents a share. Net revenues grew 6 per cent to $8.5bn.

Sprint, controlled by Softbank, the telecoms empire of Japanese billionaire Masayoshi Son, added 42,000 “postpaid” phone subscribers, viewed as the most lucrative customers.

So far this quarter rival T-Mobile US added 798,000 postpaid customers, while Verizon — the large US telecoms group by customers – lost 307,000 and AT&T lost 191,000. The results underscore T-Mobile’s success in disrupting the US mobile phone market by slashing prices and ripping up contracts.

The competition comes as US telecoms groups look to other revenue sources, such as content, to replace shrinking wireless revenues. Sprint has been trying to turn around its business under chief executive Marcelo Claure by improving its network and cutting prices. Sprint in January agreed to buy a one-third stake in Tidal, the music streaming service, mirroring moves by rival AT&T to diversify from the maturing wireless market.

Sprint’s stock has jumped more than 50 per cent in the past six months on speculation about telecoms consolidation under a more lenient Trump administration.

Shares were down 0.7 per cent in pre-market trading.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2018. All rights reserved.

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